Dear Sierra Bible Church Family,
The last few days and weeks have been quite a ride! I’m sure like me your faith has been tested and your prayers have ramped up.
Over the last year we have dreamed and prayed that God would use our church to help Christians grow in their faith, to be reminded of the promises they have in Christ, and that we would be used to see the lost come to the saving grace that we have in Jesus. I still hope and believe this will be true.
It has become apparent that at this time, to make this happen we must move our services for at least the next two weeks to a live internet feed. Please know this decision has weighed heavy on my heart and the hearts of your elders at SBC. This has been a gut-wrenching choice.
With that said, not only will this serve to protect those vulnerable from the covid-19 virus as directed by the CDC and our local health agencies, it will, and already has been used to reach more people for Jesus. In fact, last Sunday SBC had close to 1500 people tune into our service live. That is something worth celebrating. In fact, Facebook was littered with live church services from all over the country. God is using this to spread His word that the church of Jesus has the hope of eternal life and peace, we have the gospel!
Sierra Bible has provided our community with some of the largest gatherings in our area. Almost every day of the week, and especially on Sundays, hundreds of people come to SBC to be in community and to hear the word taught. This is and always has been a good thing. However, as a way to show the community of Truckee we love them and that we care for their health and well-being, the best thing we can do at this time is avoid large gatherings where we may put our older folks at risk.
This does not mean we retreat from prayer, or that God has retreated from us. Rather its in moments like these we engage in deeper prayer, devotion and mission. To quote Martin Luther while he lived through the black plague “Very well, by God’s decree, the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore, I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person, but will go freely.”
Those words are perfect and timely. So, the plan for now is, for the next two Sundays, March 22nd & 29th, we will provide one live online service at 10am via Facebook at facebook.com/sierrabible. If you don’t have Facebook we will also be live on YouTube under Sierra Bible Church Truckee. We ask and hope you will take this time each week as a family to join us as if we were all present together. Let us see this as a time to come together in spirit. In addition, you can share this feed via your social media to get the word out that God is not done, and we will worship Jesus wherever we are!
In addition, you can continue to give to the mission of SBC at https://www.sbctruckee.com/giving/
We have been praying for revival and this may be just the path God chooses to use to take us there. To quote another awesome dead guy, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, during an outbreak of Cholera in 1850, he said, “If there ever be a time when the mind is sensitive, it is when death is abroad. I recollect, when first I came to London, how anxiously people listened to the gospel, for the cholera was raging terribly. There was little scoffing then.” He goes on to tells the story of visiting a dying man who had previously opposed him: “That man, in his lifetime, had been wont to jeer at me. In strong language, he had often denounced me as a hypocrite. Yet he was no sooner smitten by the darts of death than he sought my presence and counsel, no doubt feeling in his heart that I was a servant of God, though he did not care to own it with his lips.” The article I found this quote from on the Gospel Coalition then goes on to say “The sinking sand of this world is a constant reality—but it often takes the storms of this life to reveal it. Spurgeon saw the plagues of his day as a storm that led many to seek refuge in Christ the Rock.” May God use this trial to make His name famous.
We deeply love all of you,