April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020

Dear Friends,
 
While everyone around us has their eyes fixed on the COVID19 pandemic, how can we fix our eyes on Jesus?  What does that look like?
 
Let me tell you what it looked like for Mike Morledge this week. 
 
Mike and a neighbor got together and invited the families on their street to gather for a socially distanced prayer time.  They invited the 13 families on their street to join them.  Folks from 12 of the 13 homes showed up.
 
What did they do?  Mike says they gathered mostly in the street in front of their next door neighbor home.  Some brought chairs, some stood.  There were about 20 adults, all trying to maintain social distancing, together with a passel of kids (all who have continued to play together since the pandemic began).
 
Mike’s neighbor brought a guitar, and he and his two young daughters “led” a couple of songs.  Mike talked for about 5 minutes, focusing on the gospel, telling everyone our biggest problem isn’t our circumstances or what’s outside of us, including the coronavirus, but what is inside of us – sin. 
 
After Mike was done, his neighbor asked different people to pray for our leaders, our nation/state/city, the economy, those who are sick & for redemption for people in the midst of this.  The whole thing probably lasted 30 minutes. 
 
Mike says “there was general agreement that everyone would like to gather again Easter evening.  There was a strong sense of fellowship & community.  Some neighbors were meeting one another for the first time.  There was a general sense that people enjoyed getting together and had a desire to get to know one another.  It was the first time our neighborhood (just our street actually) has done any kind of gathering.”
 
“Many of the people there were believers, some just churched & some probable pagans. It was a good time of gathering that was appreciated by all.  If I speak again this Sunday I will focus on God’s great love in providing a way that we can be made right with Him through the resurrection of His Son.”  
 
It’s simple, right?  Put a note in nearby mailboxes.  Find a front yard or a wide spot in the street where you and others can safely gather.  Sing Amazing Grace – everyone knows Amazing Grace.  Say a few words about how, in the midst of all the confusion and fear, you are finding your hope and peace and joy in your personal relationship with Jesus.  Ask anyone who wants to pray to pray.  You close.  Thank people for coming out. 
 
This Easter Sunday, when people can’t go to church, maybe they’ll be interested in a socially distanced neighborhood prayer gathering. 
 
Who’s in?
 
Or maybe you’d rather try something like this.
 
Jeremy Treat is a pastor at a church in LA.  A few weeks ago, when he realized we wouldn’t be gathering to celebrate Easter this year, he came up with an idea.  He thought “what if all of us shot a short cell phone video of our testimony and posted on social media using the hashtag #JesusChangedMyLife?”
 
Guess what?  People are doing it.
 
I went to Twitter last night and searched the hashtag.  I found a bunch of videos.  Here’s one I selected at random.   
 
  
That’s a screen shot of Cissy Smith’s testimony.  You can click here to watch what she shares.  Go ahead.  It’s short.  I’ll wait.
 
See how simple that was?  You could do that too, right?
 
I figured if I was going to ask you to do it, I’d better do it myself.  So here’s what mine looks like (it’s on Twitter and Facebook).
 

You see that number down in the bottom left hand corner?  I posted this video less than two hours ago.  It’s been watched now by 500+ people.  If you’d like to see what I posted, you can click here to see it on Twitter.  Or click here if you’d prefer Facebook (it’s the same video either place).    
 
How about sharing your testimony with a few hundred people this week?  Remember to use the hashtag #JesusChangedMyLife.
 
A neighborhood prayer meeting?  A social media post of your testimony?  Or something else? 
 
What’s one way you can boldly point people to Jesus this week?
 
Maybe the easiest way is to chose a few friends you can send a link to the Redeemer website (www.redeemerlr.org) and invite to join us on line for our Good Friday service at 7:00 PM this Friday or for our Easter Sunday service at 10 AM. 
 
Let’s keep fixing our eyes on Jesus in the midst of the pandemic.  And let’s point people to Him as we prepare to celebrate His triumphant resurrection this Sunday!
 
By the way, our kids were fixing their eyes on Jesus this morning as they gathered on line for their weekly Gospel Zone get together.  And last night, many of our ladies were on line together for their weekly Bible study.  If you (or your kids) missed either event, we can send you the video.  Just send Jen Gurney an email and she’ll forward either video your way.  Jengiles1@yahoo.com 
 
And finally this week, a big thank you to all of you who continued to give faithfully to support the work of our church.  In March, while we met only on line three times, donations to the church came within a few hundred dollars of covering our monthly expenses.  Thank you for giving on line at https://redeemerlr.churchcenter.com/giving or mailing your donations to P.O. Box 26677, Little Rock, AR 72221.
 
 
 

See you (on line) Sunday!
 
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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