FROM THE PASTOR
At the recommendation of Bishop Holston, Camp Swamp along with the other churches in the South Carolina Annual Conference has suspended in-person worship services through March 31. This is due to the possibility of contagion from the coronavirus known as COVID -19.
Outside of church, we are called upon to practice “social distancing” – the new buzz word of 2020. We are careful about stepping into a crowd. We are encouraged not to hug or shake hands with each other. Some are wearing masks. Although we can’t worship together in person, we do wash our hands religiously. We have hunkered down with our hand sanitizer and more than enough toilet paper.
They tell us that social distancing is an important strategy in limiting the spread of the virus. But as much as we ought to practice social distancing, we need to know that it is definitely NOT the way GOD operates.
It is not in God’s nature to be distant. The central event in our salvation – the Incarnation – is all about God getting close to us, not away from us. Immanuel means God with us. God will not distance himself from us. God has not done this in the past, God is not doing this now and God will not do it in the future. God is near us, not distant from us.
In times like these, we need the comforting words of Paul in Romans :
Who will separate us from the love of Christ ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come,nor powers, nor height , nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)
Social distancing has and will force us to make sacrifices as we attempt to stay connected as the body of Christ, but God will be with us no matter where we are.
Please remember your membership vows to participate in the ministries of the church, by your prayers, presence (not in person at this time), your gifts, your service, and your witness until we can be together again.