COVID–19 LETTER TO JUBILEE
Dear Jubilee Family,
As we grapple with and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital to start the communication on what this season will mean for us as a local church. The Jubilee leadership is monitoring the situation and is asking you to proceed in the following ways:
1) By grace, proceed in faith.
There will be many opportunities in the coming days to declare Jesus’s preeminence over COVID-19 and any other virus by fighting fear and anxiety with faith. We, by God’s grace, are not people who are given to the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Our confidence rests not in government officials, doctors, safety measures, or hand sanitizer (or lack thereof). Our assurance rests in the Good Shepherd. Even through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us (Psalm 23). Our poise is fortified by the one who is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains are moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its sweeping (Psalm 46:1–3).
COVID-19 is yet another opportunity in which we can look up to our good and loving Father in heaven. He is always good to his children. Our lives are still in his hands. We should all learn from how the Apostle Peter encourages wives to take after the example of Sarah. He says: “Do good and do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Pet 3:6). In faith, let’s continue to do the good things that our Father has set before us. And in faith, let’s fight fear by trusting in our good and sovereign God. There may be scary realities unfolding before us, but he will hold us. Consider the occasion that the church has as a witness to how the bedrock truths of the gospel beautifully provide a firm foundation amid a world struggling with fear. So, by God’s grace, let’s proceed in faith.
2) By grace, proceed in wisdom.
Even as we trust in the Lord we also want to encourage wisdom and prudence. The situation continues to change daily. As of now, there are multiple confirmed cases in Minnesota, spanning various counties (including Hennepin County). Our State government is encouraging a tactic of “social distancing” to slow the spread of the virus. Things like concerts, sporting events, and on-campus University classes are being shut down as part of this strategy to reduce the chances of infection in large gatherings. The governor of Minnesota has advised that there be no gatherings over 250 people.
In light of these scenarios and what the church’s leadership deems to be wise, Jubilee will not gather together until May 3 until further notice. Some more additional reasons support this decision.
- We want to love our neighbors well by not gathering in large numbers. It seems like a better witness to join in solidarity with the community to do what is necessary to promote social distancing with the hopes of not contracting or transmitting the virus.
- We want to show forth an example of what it looks like to obey the governing authorities that the Lord has placed over us. In light of the governor’s advisement, it seems best to comply and follow the recommendations from our governing officials.
- The foot traffic in the building has significantly increased through the ministry of Jericho Road. It seems best to formulate a plan of precaution, first, for building use.
The leadership team will be accessing the situation for future events and will keep you posted. Our encouragement to you for this weekend is to worship together as a family and close friends as you deem to be wise. Spend some time praying, singing, and reflecting on a passage of Scripture. Consider listening to a sermon online. You can find Bethlehem Baptist Church’s Livestream-only service here. Video chat with your family near and far and share with them the reasons for your hope. Serve a neighbor as one who is secure in Christ. Bring a meal to those in need as one whose every need is met in Christ. Please avail yourself of some helpful resources and pass it along. Encourage one another and ask the Lord to magnify his grace and supply wisdom during this uncertain time as those whose certainty is grounded in That Day.
We will continue to communicate regarding our response at Jubilee as the days progress. God’s peace to you;