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(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kevin West)

Dear Easter People,

Alleluia! Christ is risen! 

Military members take an oath to “obey the orders of (those) appointed over me.” But there’s a caveat protecting them from unlawful orders. Orders must be “…according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” One cannot be ordered to break the law.

Peter and the apostles received conflicting orders from those appointed over them. The temple leaders directed them to stop teaching in Jesus’ name (Acts 5:17-28). Peter’s response, “We must obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29) So, Peter and the apostles, obeying the highest authority, God Himself, continued teaching in Jesus’ name.

Today, the government has directed us to stay in our houses except for essential activities. It keeps us from attending worship services together in our church buildings. It might seem the government’s direction is at odds with God’s direction to come together and worship Him regularly. 

In our current situation it’s important to note, the government isn’t telling God’s people they can’t worship. They’re simply telling them they need to do so in a socially responsible manner. And we are complying with this direction because God’s Word tells us, “Thou shall honor your parents” and “Thou shall not kill.”  From God’s Word, we understand these two commands in these ways. The first includes honoring those authorities God has placed over us to protect us and provide good order in His creation. The second includes “helping and supporting our neighbor in every physical need” by doing what we can to keep them from getting, in this case, sick and possibly dying.

By being obedient to those God has placed in authority over us we are also being obedient to God’s command to love and help our neighbors in need. One day this virus will be defeated and we’ll be able to physically join together in worship. Until then, God has blessed us with technology and many other gifts which still enable us to gather together in worship to hear God’s teachings in the name of Jesus, our risen Lord and Savior!

                                                                                        He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

                                                                                        Pastor Jim