March 17, 2020
Dear Family of Faith,
As one with Irish heritage and is fitting for this day, I want to joyfully share with you bits from what is famously known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate:
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Thank you Lord God that you have fitted us all with Your holy armor (Ephesians 6:11-18), especially in this time the very breastplate of Your righteousness as we cling in faith to You by Your Word and Spirit. Thank You Christ Jesus that You have made us Yours through Your death and resurrection. Amen!
Keeping rooted in our faith and up to date with how things are progressing with the coronavirus, we the pastors have made the difficult decision to NOT have any activities on our Church campus (even worship services) for the next 14 days. Only the pastors and staff will be on location; please remain safe in your homes. During this time, our Wednesday Midweek Lenten Services (3/18, 3/25) will be livestreamed @630PM via Facebook. Sunday worship (3/22) will be livestreamed @10AM. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to access the videos; you can click this link: https://www.facebook.com/FLCNaples/ and view it on the front page.
This was a decision made out of fervent prayer and godly discernment, not made lightly or out of fear, but in faith for two reasons:
- Honoring the God-given authority of our government officials (Romans 13) who have urged caution around group gatherings.
- Desiring to care well for those in our church family and Naples community (Mark 12: 29-31) as God leads us through this challenging season in our faith.
We are so thankful for the gift of technology that God gives us to continue sharing His Word of strength, comfort, and peace though we are physically distant from one another. God is good, and through His Word we will always remain connected to Him and each other. For the services we are livestreaming, we are planning to have as a resource an order of service attached to print out in your homes to follow along.
In our midweek Bible studies we have been studying 1 Thessalonians, and how timely it is for us this day. From 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Dear friends in Christ, you can rejoice always through prayer, and give thanks even in these circumstances now because the Lord is with you, has promised to always be, and He has a 100% track record in promise keeping. Continue to stay fixed to God through prayer and reading His Word. Remain connected with us here at Faith through online worship. Keep in touch with us pastors, who love you all very much. Though social distancing is a thing right now, we are always willing and can be close to you in prayer through phone calls, texts, and emails.
The Lord Christ Jesus bless and keep you,