I found those words in the subject line, “It’s supposed to hurt,” coming out of my mouth one day several years ago. I got a blank stare in return, temporarily. The situation was that we had a Sunday School class that had outgrown any available room, and we were left with no choice but to divide the class into two. We had another teacher and another classroom, and were in the process of coordinating our “split” when a young mom cornered me after class one Sunday morning. She shared how she had many good friends in the class, and that no matter which group she went with, she was going to see some relationships suffer, and that that hurt, and she did not like it. That is when I said, “It is supposed to hurt.” Fortunately I was able to turn the blank stare into a nod of agreement by explaining that church is all about relationships, first with Christ and then with each other. The situation we faced was unavoidable; we had no other options. But the alternative was to have either no true relationships or only surface relationships in the church and therefore not be effected at all when relationships suffered. When someone dies, when someone moves, when someone chooses to leave our church and attend another, it is going to hurt, and it should. If it doesn’t hurt, then we are not doing church the way the Lord intended.
I share all of that to say that if you are missing coming to church, good. If you miss hugging and being hugged, good. If you miss singing together and praying together and hearing from God’s Word together, good. If it is a little frustrating and even hurts a little, good. The more it hurts, the more that tells you that you are loving and being loved the way you are supposed to. (By the way, another aspect of this is that every hurt creates a greater longing for heaven, where the presence of Christ and a joyous reunion with loved ones await. And I will add even one more aspect to this. Unfortunately, our current situation is not that different for many believers. For those that slip in and out of a service, with no true connections, maybe even watching a message on a screen, now sitting at home and watching a live-stream or a message on YouTube is simply not that different than what they are used to. Forgive my digression.)
There will be a recorded message available again this coming Sunday morning. Next Monday the Staff and Deacons will do some group emailing and decide where we are with the corona virus and what the updated game plan is regarding our services. We will then get word out to you. Just last night President Trump spoke of everyone being able to meet for Easter services, but many feel that was an effort to instill hope and was a little too optimistic. Time will tell.
In the meantime, Adam & Kara have put together some things to help you with your kids & grandkids. You will see this material if you scroll down further in this message. There is a lesson about talking to your kids about the corona virus. There is a series of videos that you can have your kids watch while you watch the service on Sunday mornings. Also, we will be forwarding another email that has a link to be able to watch The Pilgrim’s Progress video for free. (On another note, I also want you to know that our Deacons are coordinating the delivery of some meals to our shut-ins that Karen Kidd and some help are cooking up here at the church. Isn’t that cool?)
I am going to get back into Ephesians 5 this Sunday, and there is some truth that really relates to where we are with the unique challenges we are facing, and with how we are responding to them. I trust it will be a help, challenge and encouragement to you as watch this Sunday.
Again, if you have a need, please call the church, or our cell phones, and let us know.
First Baptist Church Friendsville
Here’s a video and article for parents to help explain corona virus to their kids from a Godly perspective:
Saddleback Kids is a children’s ministry out of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Rick Warren is the senior pastor there, and author of The Purpose Driven Life. We use saddleback kids videos often in Kidstuf to help explain stories from the Bible. Below are video links to 6 lessons in a series called “Doors” about trusting God and about making choices. I encourage you to play these videos for your children while you are watching Sunday morning’s sermons over the next couple of weeks. Each video is about 15-20 minutes long. There is a first set of videos geared towards children ages 3 – kindergarten, and a second set of videos geared towards children in grades 1-5. We miss your kiddos like crazy and cannot wait to see them again soon!
Early Childhood (3 years old-K)
Elementary (grades 1-5)