Though we remain in the season of Lent, Palm Sunday and Easter are upon us. These two occasions are some of the greatest Sunday celebrations of the year. However, this year’s celebrations, for many, have been filled with fear and sadness as we wrestle with a virus in pandemic proportions. COVID-19 has impacted us in ways we have never imagined. Superficially, we won’t have to worry about how we are going to display our palms or what size cross are we going to make from our palms this year. Nor, how do we look in our new Easter outfit, this year, there will be no palms, nor shopping for any Easter outfits. As a matter of fact, on a deeper note, there are families that have lost loved ones and were not able to celebrate their life or get closure. Therefore, I ask that you lift up sister Patricia Eaves and her family in prayer, as she mourns the loss of her son, Sylvester Eaves, who passed away March 26th as well as sister Ruth James’s son, Robert James, Jr. who passed away on March 29th. On the other spectrum of life, they were persons who wanted to welcome new arrivals into the world but were not permitted to do so, nor be by mother’s side. Neither were people permitted to visit the sick and shut-in whether there were in the hospital, nursing or rehab facility. Clearly the past four weeks (and I do not know how many more weeks to come) was a time of testing. We were being tested as to what we are made of, how much Jesus is in us, as opposed to who are friends are or how much Constitution we know.
Pilgrim, unlike any other time this present generation has ever seen, we are being tested as to who we really are, and our commitment to God. What are we willing to do for others beyond conversation? Are we faithful to God in our conduct, in our service, in our stewardship even when we can’t go to church?
I must say, some are passing this test with flying colors as they check in on others via telephone, text messages / emails. Additionally, I am happy to report that some remain faithful in their stewardship via. mailing their tithes and offering to the church and yet others via. electronic giving though currently we are on a downward slope. However, as Pilgrims, we always rise to the occasion. Remember, Easter Sunday is when we receive our Lenten Offering ($40.00 and the value of what you sacrificed for lent). So, if you have not done so already, please send electronically or mail your Tithes, Offering and your Lenten Offering, and for those of you that have, I thank you.
Others remain engaged in worship via. Pilgrim’s new Live Stream Worship Service themselves, and yet others even start a “Watch Party” on Face Book as they share Pilgrim’s Live Stream Worship Service with all their friends and Face Book family. Keep up the great work Pilgrim. Spread the word as to what the Lord is doing at Pilgrim, and in your own life, because this too shall pass, and to God be the glory.
As we take this in stride, the church will remain closed until April 11th or until further notice, via email, and / or robocall. Until then, I encourage each of you to:
- Follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health directives.
- Keep in contact with your Deacon.
- Stay faithful in your Daily Devotions.
- Remember your Tithe, Offering & Lenten offering, please mail it to the church or send it electronically.
- Worship together via Live Stream on FaceBook at: facebook.com/pilgrimbaptistchurch and at YouTube: Pilgrim Baptist Church – St. Paul, MN
In His Service,
Charles L. Gill
The Reverend Charles L. Gill, D.Min.