ST. MATTHEW LUTHERAN CHURCH
L.C.M.S
Conway, Arkansas
Reaching the Lost, Feeding the Found through God's Word
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Alone, yet not alone, & Give God the Glory!

These days have a lot of uncertainty about what will happen next regarding when we can go out of our homes, meet and greet one another in public, and simply enjoy the presence of people with no fear of a deadly virus spreading unchecked through contact or contamination. Fortunately, Jesus promised to be with us always, so that even though we currently are in a time of public-distancing for the sake of our own health and that of others, we’re not alone, even if we’re by ourself at home working remotely, keeping a 6-foot minimum distance around us, or quarantined due to illness, we are never truly alone as children of God. While we may not be able to see Jesus yet face to face, He promised His presence with us, and God does not fail in keeping His promises. You can always call upon Him in the day of trouble, and He promises to deliver you. (Psalm 50:15) But that’s not all that verse has to say! What’s next? “and you shall glorify Me.” When we receive rescue, we thank and praise God, letting others know what He has done. One way He rescues us is when He takes us Home to heaven and we will give Him glory, praise, and thanks in His heavenly presence. But when He rescues us here on earth, we shall also glorify, praise, and thank Him, so that others know who He is as our God and Savior, and what He has done, even in the day of trouble! He rescues us so that others will know He’s still, and always will be, in the rescuing and saving business!

As we prepare for celebrating Easter - Jesus’ coming back to life from the dead as our victorious Savior, the fact that we may be scattered as the people of God in our homes and neighborhoods, and not gathered in His houses of worship, is not for fear of others, but for love of others, so that disease has less opportunity to spread and do its damage. And as we’re scattered, Jesus still comes to us in our homes through His Word and says, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.” (John 20:21) Even though we can’t go out and about as easily and need to keep safe physical distances from others, Jesus still is sending us. He sends us with His peace and presence, the same peace and presence as on that first Easter, as we speak with one another over the phone, as we send encouragement from God’s Word through electronic messages and through the mail, and as we keep in touch with others and provide for their needs as we are able.

When Jesus came walking on the water to His disciples who were in the middle of a storm on the Sea of Galilee, He answered their fear by saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) When the concerns and uncertainties of what is outside weigh on your heart and mind, remember that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). Trust the Lord to provide what He knows is best for you, even in the midst of the worst the world throws at you! And, as God rescues you in the day of trouble, give God the glory!

In Christ alone,

Rev. John Gierke
Vacancy Pastor

St. Matthew Lutheran Church, LCMS

900 Farris Rd.

Conway, AR 72034

(501) 358-6252