Well, God's providence never ceases to amaze me. On Friday night, after having family worship and putting the kids down to bed, I went to my computer to finish up my sermon for Sabbath morning. My computer froze so I tried restarting it. But when I did, it wouldn't reboot. I tried everything and couldn't get any result. Eventually I resigned myself to the idea that God had a different sermon He wanted me to preach. And this was the result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZSN6ZIThhc When I returned home on Sabbath, my computer was working fine. I believe God had a hand in it. And, of course, God has a hand in everything. Today, we can all trust God's providential leading in our lives and in the history of this planet.
Just as Peter only began to sink when he took his eyes of Jesus to look at the storm, so too, we must "fix our eyes on Jesus." He has a plan. He can work out evil for good. And it may be that the church of God will move forward in greater strength because of this.
Certainly, the Christian has no need for fear or panic. But we also want to be motivated and moved by love. Our mission at Riverview is "To Glorify God by Sharing His Love and Making Disciples." And at this time it appears that love means reducing physical contact. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf We don't want to spread this virus to those who are most vulnerable. We want to slow the spread so that hospitals can do the best job possible to provide for the victims of this disease.
As we consider reducing our physical contact for a time, we should be even more vigilant to stay connected in other ways. As a church we intend to stay connected through technology. Our meetings will be streamed regardless of how many are in physical attendance and we intend to continue to help each other as we have needs. If you have any needs we can help with please reach out to let the church know by calling (423) 525-8753 and we will be happy to assist with groceries or running errands, or praying with you, encouraging you, or helping in any way that might arise.
As we face the challenge of increased self-isolation, one thing brings me comfort: namely, that the church of the Bible was built for this! We were never called to merely attend a church building anyway but to BE the church by sharing God's love and making disciples. And we can still do this, and indeed, we are and will be doing it! Let us care for the most vulnerable among us. Let us continue to preach and teach the Word even if we do more of it over phone and online. Let us to continue to pray for the church and support its mission. Let us keep encouraging one another to follow Christ, and even more so in these extraordinary times!
P.S. Some have asked about how to give while self-isolating. Don't forget that you can use the Adventist Online Giving App. There is a link to this platform entitled "Online Giving" at the top right corner of our website. Or you can find it here: https://adventistgiving.org/#/org/ANTFGR/envelope/start