To The Point for May 8 2020

A Word about the Word

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. [Hebrews 12:1–2]

44 days and counting. That’s my take for how long Ohio has been in “stay-at-home” mode. Our word for this Sunday, as we seek to follow the way of Christ, is “perseverance.” It’s an appropriate word for Mother’s Day as well. For who is more persevering than our mothers?

Also, notice what the passage above says about “shame.” Trinity does quite a bit of ministry with the Church in India. India is known as a “shame culture.” (We are more of a “guilt culture,” though we do a good bit of shaming as well.) Anyway, we are all aware of the pain and negativity of shame. We avoid it and shouldn’t pass it on. Good strategy. And yet when we look at Jesus, we see that he too “scorned the shame.” But he didn’t avoid it—he accepted it. Our Lord allowed himself to be mocked and publicly humiliated and violently beaten…in essence, to be shamed—for us!

Close to Home

You will be receiving a “re-entry” letter from me soon via snail mail. Thanks for reading it. With Governor DeWine extending the “stay-at-home” order through May 29 and his beginning to reopen Ohio a bit, we are developing our re-entry strategy. We are looking forward to re-opening the doors, knowing full well it will be gradual and quite some time till things are back to “normal.” In the livestream worship service on May 17, we will talk at length about Trinity’s strategy. We are thinking possibly about Sunday, June 7 (or maybe May 31) as the day we open the doors to in-person worship again. Read the letter. And stay tuned!

The World as It Is

Of the 8,105,513 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States (345,742 conducted since yesterday), 15.5 percent have come back positive.

If it weren’t for the timely and important updates which Trinity regularly posts on social media, I would pastorally urge you to stop wasting your time on those platforms. Between fear mongers and conspiracy theories and downright hateful rhetoric, there is little redeeming at all on this medium right now.

Speaking of un-redemptive rhetoric, if I have to hear one more sermon or article on how all of this COVID-19 is a sure sign of the end of the world, I will throw my Late, Great Planet Earth out the window. Actually, I already did, years ago—like when Osama bin Laden was killed; or when the Shah of Iran was ousted; or the year Leonid Brezhnev died; or when Henry Kissinger left power; or when Hitler committed suicide, and so on, and so on.

#CultureNerd

Okay, parents, how many of you have experienced this when trying to get a good family picture?

 And Then There’s This…

Maybe the greatest and hardest words ever spoken by a mother:

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” [Luke 1:38]

I’ll see you on the other side (virtually).
Pastor Paul