We’re making progress, but we’re not there just yet. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being so gracious, understanding, and supportive, as we’ve all tried to figure out better ways to be the church during this time. Each week, we’re getting a little better at leveraging the technology, in order to ensure that our church family can worship together in spirit, even though we’re not in the same physical space. When it comes to “producing” (not the best word, I know) worship services, we’re making progress, but we’re not there just yet. Also in relation to “coming back to church,” we’re making progress, but we’re not there just yet. The governor’s new executive order, the attorney general’s updated guidance for houses of worship, and the TX DSHS checklist for churches all indicate that there is a way forward for churches hoping to re-enter their facilities, provided the proper safety/health protocols are in place. To be clear, our state government has only ever issued recommendations and guidelines; they never “shut down” churches. They’ve walked a fine line, showing tremendous respect for our 1 st Amendment rights, while at the same time offering guidelines intended to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. However, in speaking with local physicians, it seems to me that it really is too soon to try to re-enter our facilities here at FBC. I know you’re all itching to know when we can re-enter. The only answer I can give is this: we’re making progress, but we’re not there just yet. As I think about all of this, it rem
inds me of the spiritual journey we each embark upon when we trust Christ for salvation and begin to follow Him as Lord. It really is a journey. It has lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, setbacks and leaps forward. There are stops, layovers, highlights, delays, and, ultimately, progress. At least, there should be progress. Theoretically, we should all be growing more Christ-like, the closer to heaven we get. I can’t say we should be growing more Christ-like each day, but, looking back over any extended period of time, we ought to be able to look back and say, “Wow, just look how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown.” Of course, we don’t take credit for the growth and the progress; it’s all a work of the Spirit in us. Nevertheless, we see the progress, and we rejoice at the work of grace that has taken place in our lives. Even so, no matter how much progress we make (or the Spirit makes in us), we’re never really “there” yet. We mature in our faith, but we’re never fully mature in our faith. We grow in Christ-likeness, but we can never say we’re fully grown. It’s a process, and we’re always a “work in progress.” I’m reminded of what a dear friend and mentor once told me: “By God’s grace, I’m not what I once was, but, by God’s grace, I’m not what I will be; God’s not through with me yet.” As I’ve said before, this is an unprecedented season for all of us. We’ve never been through anything like this. However, even in the midst of these uncertain times, our God hasn’t changed. He still loves us, He still provides for us, He still walks with us, and He will, ultimately, lead us out of this. God is still Sovereign, Jesus is still Lord, and this too shall pass. In the meantime, keep trusting Jesus, and please wash your hands.