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Virtual Worship Sunday 3/29/2020

Dear Christ Pres Family,
Tomorrow morning, as we gather together around our screens for worship, I pray that the living God fills you with a sense of His presence with you and a reminder that we are united to each other in Christ Jesus, our one God and Savior, as we are all united to Him by faith.  Now, more than ever before, many of us are coming to appreciate the benefits of waking up on a Sunday morning in order to be physically present for public worship.  (Isn’t it just like the Lord to remind us of the goodness of His provision of the church for us in the midst of this global pandemic?  He really does use even the evil we find in this fallen world and redeem it for good.)  Unfortunately, for now, we need to continue to do the hard work of loving one another, as well as our neighbors, healthcare workers, etc., by keeping our distance.
The good news is that no matter what distance separates us physically, no one can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, and because of that, no one can take from us the spiritual unity that we enjoy in Him.  As we practice that unity in a different way again this week, let’s continue to pray for one another, for our world, and for God’s continued mission to bring His kingdom here on earth, as it is in Heaven.  This week, remember to pray for Zach and Jessica, who are getting married next Saturday, but who won’t be able to have any guests present at the wedding to celebrate with them.
For our service this week, we are going to join with the largest ARP church in the United States: First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC.  They have a more traditional Southern Presbyterian service, though they’ve had to adjust a few things in order to stream with only a few people present to make the service happen - as everyone else has had to as well.  The senior pastor there is Dr. Derek Thomas, a name which may be familiar to many of you.  Dr. Thomas is the author of several books and Biblical commentaries and has taught at Reformed Theological Seminary and Ligonier Ministries, among others.  Before him the senior pastor was Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, another familiar name, some of whose material we have used in our community groups.
As we join with this big church full of people with names we recognize, let us remember that in Christ Jesus, we are all one.  This church will do some things a little differently than the way we do some things, but we appreciate the countless contributions these brothers and sisters have made to the kingdom of God, some of which have benefitted our own church in both obvious and less-obvious ways.  And as we join with them in worship, don’t forget to thank our God for them and for their sharing of their gifts with us through streaming worship tomorrow morning.
The service will stream live tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM here: https://www.firstprescolumbia.org/live, where you will also find a link to the bulletin.  As a reminder, don’t forget to participate in the service: sing along, pray along, and when it comes time to give, don’t forget to visit http://christgrovecity.org/donate to support the continued ministry of our church in our community during and after this time of “social distancing.”  
With my love and prayers,
Pastor Jonathan
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