Pastor Paul Rieger - Senior Pastor

In Times Like These

Bizarre Times

The Good and the Bad Times

What an absolutely bizarre time we live in. We live in the midst of a pandemic which has changed almost every aspect of our lives. We have welcomed in a new Associate Pastor, whom God is going to use to do amazing things at this church. I, personally, am thrilled with the passion I hear in his voice for God’s people. But then our playground burns, half of it destroyed. Then we saw people step up to find ways to rebuild and fund raise. And then people step on each other’s toes when it happens and arguments broke out.  Strange times indeed.

Thankfully in our area, not too many have lost their jobs, but people have still lost jobs. We see people stepping up to help out in times of need, but then our Faribault Food Shelf closes.

One day we see articles and charts that COVID numbers are falling and people are surviving, but then a moment later we see the numbers rise; we see our own friends suffer with the disease; some of us have even lost friends to the disease.

The constant question in times like these, and really in all times, is what do we do? How should we act? What is God’s will? What does He want us to do?

This Is What Matters Most

In times like these, stick with what you know. This is why in church we have the same message every week—you are loved by a God who has taken your place in death and risen from death to give you life. Your pastors, whether Pr. Tyler and myself or a guest, will always say the same thing. Jesus loves you, and He shows that love by giving His life for you so that you might be set free. Paul says it best in Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We repeat this message over and over because, it’s what matters most.

Then knowing that love, we then live. To live in this love means to study God’s Word and see how He expresses His love to the world. He feeds and nourishes us by His love through people. He works His good and merciful will through evil things.

We Carry On – Better Times

And in all of this we are able to adapt. We carry the cross as our symbol of victory and strive through challenges.

Our VBS, while being all virtual, will be used by God to proclaim His strength and love to many. Our live streams are averaging at around a thousand people a weekend.

Even in the midst of strange times, God is at work and His love abounds for all people. Take confidence in Him and His love. Stop and look around and see how He is at work!

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