April 6, 2020

Greetings Faith Family,

In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul comments on the lifestyle of people who belong to Jesus Christ. He says we show ourselves true spokespeople for the Lord as we move through all kinds of situations “in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love.” (2 Cor 6:6). Paul goes on to describe our interior world as spokespeople with a variety of contrasts, one of which is “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor 6:10). Is that not how we are feeling these days?! Sorrowful because of all that is going on both near and far. Yet, at the same time, rejoicing because the tragedies causing the sorrows are in the hands of our loving God. The late Dallas Willard says, “Joy is consistent with sorrow because it is a realization of what’s really going on in the world at large under God.” As the pandemic ravages our land and our homes it is unsurprising for us to be both immersed in tears and experiencing a sense of well-being. And it is right for us to present ourselves as such before our LORD, begging for his mercy. This Friday, for the first time, the EPC is joining with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO), the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP), and possibly other groups, to share in a time of prayer and fasting for God’s mercy and healing.

The call is for believers in Christ to set aside Good Friday, April 10, as a day of prayer and fasting to cry out for God’s help in addition to a day of worship.

As the Stated Clerk of the EPC, Jeff Jeremiah, wrote

The whole world is in the throes of a coronavirus pandemic that is spreading death, illness, economic turmoil, unemployment, isolation, panic, and fear. In such desperate times, the people of God should humble themselves and pray to almighty God for His grace, mercy, and love to heal us, restore us, and relieve us from this crushing burden of disease.

This week’s prayer grouping offers prayers as well as links to songs for you to consider using on Friday (or any other time). Pastor Doug and I are deeply grateful for this opportunity to humble ourselves with brothers and sisters from across denominational and national lines. We pray you will join us.

With hope, always.

Pastor Shelley