Masking Ourselves in Love

Masks.  They dominate our conversations.  Only if only it was just about halloween again.  I am sure we all find ourselves staring into the past to try to regain footing for these current moments.  I find myself reminiscing about simple conversations with my kids about superhero masks and alter egos and wonder when the coronavirus villain will be vanquished.  I look to the Bible and see most references to masks are about hypocrisy and false teachers.  I remember working in attics and wearing masks to keep my lungs healthy for future outings with my grandkids.  And then I am back again to our moment. Masks…everywhere.
Governor Holcomb announced this week masks would be required of all people in public who cannot socially distance.  I believe we at Central can continue to model this precaution for our neighbors.  No longer are masks ways to hide our identities (though I miss seeing you all face to face).  Now they are ways of showing our love.  When we think of Jesus’ words, ‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends,’  masks are but a simple step.  Many could not – can not – go out into spaces where people are not taking what has become a simple precaution.  Masks are a simple way to allow for us to continue to be present in our lives.  In this sense, social distancing might better be understood as healthy distancing so as to avoid the extreme of social isolation.  We want to continue to create space for those who are able to gather.  
To this end we are asking all who come to Central at any time to wear a mask while moving around the building.  This will allow us to continue to minister to all of our neighbors while continuing to fight the spread of the coronavirus.  Further, we will be returning to limited office hours (8-1 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday & 8-5 on Thursday) to provide flexibility and space for our staff to navigate these times.  The building will still be available for groups and appointments outside of these hours.  We continue to serve not just the discipleship needs of our members at Central, but also the broader community.  If you feel called to donate masks, we will continue to distribute them to all who come through the doors at 1425 E Main St.
Let us continue to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.  I will admit, I never thought masks would be a part of it.  But as Paul writes, ‘I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.’
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Joseph

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