Message from Angela Pleasants
posted on March 25
To the Catawba Valley District,
In the words of Paul, I too pray that God will give you peace. Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. I make my request for all of you with joy, knowing you too are spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ, especially amid the Pandemic.
I heard concerns from some of you about the suspension of worship. You have concerns about your laity and shut-ins and concerns about financial giving and what this will do for your missional outreach.
We are in a time where we don’t know what the next moment will bring for us. But we are also in a moment of knowing God is with us. Our lives look very different right now, but God remains the same.
When I encounter times of uncertainty and fear, I am comforted by these words, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” Psalm 27:1 NLT. With the protective presence of God, we can stand firm together as we pray and encourage each other in the faith.
We know where light is darkness cannot exist. Fears thrive in the dark. Notice it is in the darkness of uncertainty that our fears grow. As a result, we begin to act through fear instead of faith. God is light, and the light illumines the darkness. Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT.
What do we do about worship? Worship is not confined to a building. Nor is it limited to an organization or institution. Worship is when we demonstrate our adoration and praise for our Creator God. Worship is not about meeting our needs, but it is hearts overflowing in praise to God, who has already reached out to us. Let this be a time we seek ways to move from worship the same way to creative ways we experience more of God-centered worship.
It is also a time to deepen our prayer relationship with God. “O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.” Isaiah 62:6. Henry Blackaby writes, “Are you willing to adjust your lifestyle significantly enough to be the kind of prayer warrior God will use to change your family, your church, your city, your denomination, and your nation.”
Be the people of God who will intercede day and night. Amid these times, people are looking for hope. Do not allow fear to turn you inward. When we focus only inward and through fear, we begin to strike at each other. Now is the time for the children of light to rise and take their place on the post praying day and night. God is looking for spiritually alert people who can speak a word on his behalf to those who are seeking comfort and hope. Will you be a watch person for the Lord?
Catawba Valley, and anyone else who reads these words, I have taken my post on the wall praying day and night. I am opening myself to the Holy Spirit to adjust my lifestyle and do his surgical procedure on my heart. I am committed to staying alert that God may speak through me. Will you join me?
When our light shines brightly into the darkness of despair, the environment around us is immediately impacted. My prayer and love are for each of you. Stay safe and well.
"When our will, our whole heart, enters into the prayer of Christ, then we are truly praying." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer~
Reverend Angela A. Pleasants