Dear DBC family,
Our nation is hurting. We hurt because of injustice. We hurt because of poor decisions. We hurt because of pent-up emotions. We hurt because of a lack of patience. We hurt because Jesus is the only answer and people don’t see it. And God is relying on you and me to show the world HOW He is the answer. We are not citizens of this world, and yet God has us as His missionaries for just such a time as this to THIS world. How is He wanting to use you to reach the people that He has brought into your path? Even if you can’t get out of the house or are limited in what you do, you can still do much for God.
One thing I know that we can do to help the world heal is to respond with grace and mercy to anger and hurt. For the past few days, I have been thinking about a Gentle Answer that turns away anger and I recorded a thought. It is extremely hard to return good for something that is meant for harm, but God calls us to it. And God calls us to not live in fear either. Over the past 2 weeks, and even longer, God has been having us talk about fear and about how we can rely on Him. Sometimes when we are in the heat of a problem or a pandemic or a sickness or anything, we tend to take our eyes off of Christ and start sinking back under the water of worries. I read an excellent book by John Piper called Christ and the Coronavirus. It really gives some concrete answers about the solid foundation that is our Savior and how He helps us to conquer fear. It is free, not only in ebook format, but also audiobook and can be found here.
This past Sunday our in-person worship seemed to go well, even though it was a little different with masks and spaced rows. Still, we were worshiping our Lord and Savior together. There were over 40 in-person and there were several others that were able to listen from the parking lot. The elders have been reevaluating the service, just as we said that we would, and we would like to make a change regarding masks. After much prayer and seeking God and godly counsel, and finding out that the Fairbanks Northstar Borough has not had any new cases for almost a month (article), we as elders are making masks optional for in-person worship at DBC. We realize that this might cause some who would attend if masks were worn, to not come. And there will be some who feel that they now can come because masks will not be worn, who will attend. Regardless of what your brother and sister in Christ decide, we must - and I mean MUST - treat them with love and respect and not look down on their decision. This means not looking at those without masks as reckless and not looking at those with masks as fearful. What God wants is for us to be united before Him, loving to each other, and have our eyes firmly planted on Him.
We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.