Friday, March 20, 2020
Letter from Pastor Wolfmueller
Dear Saints of St Paul Lutheran Church,
God be praised for the joy and confidence we have in Jesus! How wonderful for us to know that Jesus has us in life and in death, in good times and in bad. We receive these tumultuous days as we receive everything: from the hand of our gracious heavenly Father who loves us. We know, after all, that all things, even pandemics, work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
These are, though, days of sadness.
As the Coronavirus has spread throughout the world, unprecedented steps have been asked of us by our government officials, including the prohibition of meetings of ten or more people. The Elders and I made the decision to comply with the prohibition and cancel our meeting together.
As far as I can tell, this is the first time physical services have been canceled in the 129 year history of St. Paul Lutheran Church.
I would invite you to consider this a time of fasting, a chastisement that the Lord has laid on us. We are fasting from the great treasure of His body and blood. We are fasting from the gift of meeting together. This is not a fast that we have chosen, it has been given to us. Indeed this is a Lent like no other.
True fasting is always accompanied with repentance and prayer. We repent of our indifference to spiritual things, of our coldness toward the Lord’s gifts, and to the casualness with which we have treated the holy things of God. And we pray that the Lord would quickly end this trouble so that we would once again gather before His holy altar with hearts leaping for joy, and dry lips quenched with His forgiving blood. Oh, to take up the cup of the Lord! O Lord, hear our prayer!
True fasting also turns our hearts to our neighbors. We will have plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks to love and serve our neighbors, both physically and spiritually.
We also rejoice that we have the Lord’s Word. We have Bibles to read, and hymns to sing. Technology allows us to broadcast our services to members and the world through the internet.
We are still sorting out how best to serve the members of our congregation and bless our neighbors in these trouble times. Here is what we have so far.
We will have one Sunday Service broadcast on the internet. This will be live at 9:00 am, and then available to watch anytime after that. You will be able to find the service, and a bulletin to download at this website: www.stpaulaustin.org/live. This is a public service, and we encourage you to share this link and the information with your friends and family.
And, if you have ideas about how we can better serve you, our members, and the world, please let me know.
We continue to pray that the Lord Jesus would grant us His comfort and peace, and that we would grow through these days in faith toward Him and fervent love toward one another.
Lord have mercy.
Yours in Christ,