Greetings beloved family of Common Ground,

Strange times indeed.  It’s hard to comprehend that when your beloved mother or grandmother dies you cannot attend the funeral.  And it wasn’t because you were sick or an invalid or didn’t have the money to travel or you were out of the country on vacation or you were on a large floating ship as a navy pilot in the Indian Ocean.  No, you were healthy and able and wanting to be present at your mom’s, grandma’s funeral.   No one in all their years would ever think that this could even be possible.  But strange times indeed. 

It is a different time, a strange time we have suddenly been thrust into because of this plague, this virus, this pandemic.  We are all encountering a new way of living, living with loss.  Loss of our loved ones, loss of our so-called normalcy and routine, loss of simple “take for granted” freedoms, loss of closeness and togetherness, loss of expectations, loss of job and pay.  Loss of true Sunday worship together. 

Yet some of those things that have been lost may be exactly what we need.  Like the loss of comfort makes us appreciate what we have and to help us focus on what’s most important.  Loss of professional spectator sports helps us rid ourselves of some of those silly idols of false worship.  Loss of busyness makes for more time to read, study and pray over God’s Word, I like what the Apostle Paul says when it comes to loss.

Philippians 3:7-9 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ.  8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ  9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith.

I’m praying that this sense of loss will allow us to strip away all the trivial pursuits, extra baggage and plain old stuff that have weighed us down so that we can pursue those greater things, those eternal things, those supreme things, like Jesus Christ and His gospel.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us   2 keeping our eyes on Jesus,the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Thanks again for our first-ever, best-ever and hopefully last-ever virtual Easter Sunday service.  There is a whole lot of work that goes into it.  So, if you get a chance, thank Chris K. and Alfie K. for all their hard work in making it look almost flawless.  So welcome to Common Ground’s “vurch” service.  Vurch = virtual church

Please send me any prayer requests no matter how big or small so that we as a family of Common Ground can lift each up in holy, heartfelt, God-glorifying prayer!

Making Much of Jesus!!! Pastor Gary