No More Sea, No more COVID-19
If you have done any driving along the nation's highways lately, you have probably seen signs like this:
We have been asked to stay home for anything deemed "nonessential." It has drastically altered our pattern of daily living. And it has also increased our sense of social isolation. You may have even seen the national ad campaign using the hashtag #AloneTogether
And in case you are wondering, it has certainly made worship planning a challenge. Just look at this trouble over planning which hymns to sing!
If you are like me, you can't wait until this time of social distancing is over. In fact, when it finally does end, I have a sneaky suspicion that Riverview is going to celebrate something like this:
But in all seriousness, I long for an end to all of this physical and social separation.
That's why I think of John's words at the end of Revelation. He writes:
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea." (Revelation 21:1)
Looking forward to glory, John is writing the final words of Scripture while in exile on the island of Patmos. Patmos is a tiny island across the Agean sea from modern day Turkey.
In other words, John was experiencing a social distancing and physical separation even greater than what we are currently facing. John was separated from family, friends, and fellow believers. He was separated by the Agean sea. And He could not wait until it was over.
What is separating you from those that you love today?
Whatever it is, John took consolation in the same hope that we can have today. Jesus is coming soon! There will be "be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
And John the Revelator was eager to add, there will be "no more sea." But for us we might say, "There will be no more social distancing. No more Coronavirus. No more COVID-19. No more shelter in place. No more quarantine."
Most of all, the separation between us and our Savior will be ended completely. And we will see Him "face to face." (1 Corinthians 13:12)
A few Announcements:
1. Riverview is teaming up with It Is Written and the Greeneville church in an effort to reach Greene County with a virtual evangelistic series designed to capitalize on this moment. The series starts April 17th. You can find out more about this event here. We are in need of people from our church willing to be "virtual Bible workers" to interact with guests via text, email, and phone. If you are interested in serving as a virtual Bible worker please contact me (909) 363-5991 or Clarence Small (423) 329-9012
2. Amanda Belcher has decided to be baptized! We had planned to have the baptism two weeks ago but delayed it due to COVID-19. After prayerful consideration, we have decided to move ahead this coming Sabbath.“See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36) You can participate in the moment by tuning in to our online livestream of the Church Service this Sabbath starting at 10am here. Pending her forthcoming baptism and baptismal vow, all in favor say "AYE!"
3. Wednesday night prayer meeting for April 1st will take place at 7pm via a Zoom meeting. You can participate via webcam, smartphone, or simply by calling in. Here is the info:
Topic: Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting Time: Apr. 1, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/324888099 Meeting ID: 324 888 099 One tap mobile +16465588656,,324888099# US (New York) +13126266799,,324888099# US (Chicago) Dial by your location +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 301 715 8592 US +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 720 707 2699 US (Denver) +1 253 215 8782 US Meeting ID: 324 888 099 Find your local number: https://us04web.zoom.us/u/fxXRdApgV
4. There will be a Youth & Young Adult Vespers on Friday from 2-3:30pm. We are planning a virtual scavenger hunt and worship moment. Don't miss it! Tune in to the Zoom meeting with the info below:
Topic: Youth Vespers Time: Apr 3, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/810046440 Meeting ID: 810 046 440 One tap mobile +13126266799,,810046440# US (Chicago) +16465588656,,810046440# US (New York) Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) +1 253 215 8782 US +1 301 715 8592 US +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 720 707 2699 US (Denver) Meeting ID: 810 046 440 Find your local number: https://us04web.zoom.us/u/fxXRdApgV
Riverview remains committed to "Give God Glory by Sharing His Love & Making Disciples."