It was the Easter weekend. The followers of Jesus, the “church”, were “sheltered in place”, in small groups behind locked doors.
Each footstep outside brought renewed fear. Was it the temple guards who had arrested the Master in Gethsemane? Or was it the Roman soldiers who had crucified Him?
Would they be arrested, tortured, killed?
Finally on the third day, a small group of women ventured out, their love for the Savior overcame their fear. They wanted to complete the anointing of His body. But when they came to the tomb, the stone was rolled away; the body was gone!
Shortly thereafter, Mary Magdalene saw a man she supposed was the keeper of the garden tomb. “Where have you taken His body,” she asked. The Man spoke one word, “Mary” and that made all the difference. It was the Christ! He had risen, just as He’d promised.
That small group of fearful men and women turned the world upside down. The resurrection abolished fear. Courage and the necessity of spreading the Gospel took its place. Though many did experience torture and death, that no longer mattered. The promise of “eternal life” and sharing the Good News trumped the temporary life on earth!
About 1,990 years later, the church is once again sequestered. Hopefully, this is not by fear, fear of the authorities, fear of an unseen virus, fear of shortages, fear of the unknown. Because the unknown cannot stand in the presence of the “known”, the God of the universe, the risen Savior and Lord and His promises of protection, of provision and of real life everlasting.
The message we have today is as important as it was to the early men and women who saw the Risen Christ. It is the only message of hope to a world so void of hope; it is the only message of peace for a world so in need of peace. It is a message of real life to a world so caught up with death and disease.
The Gospel is the message of God, becoming a man, dying on a cross for the sins of the world. God, who sacrificed Himself, bearing our sins and praying the full price for them. Easter is the promise of God that there is mercy and grace, forgiveness for our sins, and the promise of eternal life, whether this earthly life ends by war, accident, old age, heart attack, cancer or COVID-19.
And the church today is still commanded to carry this Gospel to all the ends of the earth, even to the giving of our lives for others, as Christ did, as the martyrs have done for 2000 years, as the persecuted church is doing today.
So let’s continue to share the Good News, even in the face of lockdowns and sequestration. Let us do it by e-mail, by phone, by “snail” mail; let us do it live, or on-line. But let us do it. The message is too vital to be “sheltered in place”.
“One day when heaven was filled with His praises, one day when sin was as dark as could be, Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin, dwelt among men, my example is He!
“One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain. One day they nailed Him to die on the tree; suffering anguish, despised and rejected, bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!
“One day they left Him alone in the garden. One day He rested, from suffering free; angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil; hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!
“One day the grave could conceal Him no longer. One day the stone rolled away from the door. Then He arose, over death He had conquered, now is ascended, my Lord evermore!
“One day the trumpet will sound for His coming. One day the skies with His glories will shine. Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing; glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!
“Living, He loved me! Dying, He saved me! Buried, He carried my sins far away! Rising, He justified freely forever! One day He’s coming, O glorious day.” (J. Wilbur Chapman 1910)
Have a blessed Easter! He is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!
Cancellations and Postponements
It would be impossible to list every cancellation and postponement in our faith community. Most of our churches and houses of worship will be canceling services, as least for the next few weeks. Many will offer on-line sermons, live streaming and so on. Be sure to check with your church for the decision of your church leadership.
We continue to list various events and services from local churches and faith organizations, unless I have received notice of cancellation. But please, before you go out to attend one, call someone to make sure it is still being held!
But don’t take a “vacation” from feeding your spirit: stay in the Word, stay in prayer, keep up with your church members via internet, phone or in small groups. Be available to help others as needed! And be ready to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ as people are probably more willing to receive it!
Special Prayer and Thanksgiving
Let us continue to be in daily and constant prayer to the only One who can end this time of panic and Who is still on the Throne. Pray to God for healing for those afflicted by the COVID-19 virus; pray for protection for those as yet unaffected; and pray for peace and comfort for families who have lost loved one.
Let us continue to pray for wisdom and rational thought for our political leaders at all levels: national, state and local.
And let’s continue to offer thanks and pray for guidance and protection for all our health-care workers, our first responders (paramedics, fire men/women, police officers).
Remember, God hears and answers prayers!
Spring To Life Gala Goes Online
Coastline Women’s Center has announced that the annual Spring to Life Gala will go on as scheduled on April 30. However, there will be a change of format. This year’s Gala will be online.
Those who were registered for the event on the original March date will receive information about this change and will be told how you can still be a part of this wonderful evening. If you did not register earlier, you can still “attend” and be a part. Register at the Coastline website: www.coastlinewomenscenter.org. Or call the office at (843) 488-9971.
Good News Club On-Line
With schools out, boys and girls are sure to be missing the weekly Good News Club, sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship and conducted by area churches. But there is Good News!
CEF has the Good News Club experience online, songs, memory verses and more. Simply go to www.gncsc.org and stay up to date on Good News Club!
A New GAME APP for Kids
Believing that most of us, especially our children and youth, spend way too much time on phones, tablets and computers, I seldom promote this type of thing. But since your kids are likely to be home more in days to come, how about a new APP, a game that will be fun and also spiritually enriching.
Samaritan’s Purse has developed a new Bible game app for ages 5-9. It’s called “Greatest Journey” and is based on their international discipleship course created for Operation Christmas Child.
It’s a great way for children to learn about God’s Word. Encourage your children and the children in your church or neighborhood to explore the Bible and learn how to follow Jesus through this new mobile app. The app is free and has no in-app purchases or advertisements. It’s available at the App store and Google play. Check out samaritanspurse.org/tgj-app.
Trip of A Lifetime
Wayne and Joy Brown are taking the “trip of a lifetime” and are inviting you to accompany them. This trip to the Holy Land and Germany, will include the magnificent and world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play (put on every ten years since the early 1600’s). The trip will start July 23 and conclude Aug. 3.
This trip is all inclusive: air transportation from JFK (New York), breakfast and dinner daily, first class hotels, ground transportation, all entrance fees, taxes, tips and gratuities. It is truly going to be a “trip of a lifetime”.
To receive a descriptive brochure with complete itinerary and additional information, call or text the Browns at (843) 796-0397; you may e-mail to Wayne@WayneandJoyBrown.com. Or request in writing at: Wayne and Joy Brown, PO Box 70777, Myrtle Beach SC 29572.
Springtime Jubilee, the old-time Gospel Conference for “mature and senior” adults is coming to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center April 27-29.
Musicians include: Ricky Skaggs, the Booth Brothers, Karen Peck & New River, the New Speer Family and Gold City. Speakers include: Johnny Hunt and Dr. Robert Jeffress. Go to jubileeconferences.com or phone 1-800-616-8863.
Rise Up! The Women of Joy 2020 Tour. Myrtle Beach Convention Center May 1-3. Enjoy Sheila Walsh, Mark Lowry, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Lisa Bevere, Michael W. Smith, Lysa Terkeurst and Charles Billingsley.
Register at the website: womenofjoy.org.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ Mark on your calendars: in the will of the Lord, the annual Coastal Evangelism Conference will be held at Langston Baptist Church Aug. 5-7. More information as it becomes available.
■ Tilly Swamp Survivors of Suicide, a new faith-based support group for those having lost someone to suicide, meets the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the church: 4619 S.C. 90. Phone (803) 566-0702.
■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., and Stepnfaith Ministries will present Music Extravaganza 2020 in May and also the Battle of the Voices, a competition for soloists and choirs. Auditions and rehearsals are going on now. These will be led by Minister of Music Kenzie Carey and you will want to participate. Winners will receive monetary prizes. Phone (843) 248-4900.
■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, invites you to its annual Journey To Jerusalem, on Good Friday (April 10) at 7 p.m. Come experience this outdoor drama of Jesus’ final week. Walk through Jerusalem. See His death, burial and resurrection.
Some adjustments have been made for the current situation to insure the safety of performers and viewers. The event is free, but donations are accepted and will be used to build La Iglesia Cristiana de Ponce, a church in Puerto Rico. The Journey is also being filmed and shown on the church Facebook site.
Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool is currently registering students for the 2020-21 school year for the 2, 3, and 4-year old classes. Come join the fun! Contact the director, Jenn Loeswick at email@example.com or look us up on Facebook: St. Philip Preschool-Myrtle Beach. The preschool is located at 6200 N. Kings Highway. Call (843) 449-4322 and we’ll get back to you.
■ The New Beginnings food distribution (which includes free groceries, lunch social services information and a children’s craft table) will be held April 18, May 16 and June 20 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. The April distribution will be DRIVE-THRU! Phone (843) 215-4500.
■ Mt. Olive Church, 1108 Carver St., invites you to a 14-week Strengthening Families Program, each Tuesday through June 9 at 6 p.m. phone (803) 791-5513 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ The Royal School of Church Music Treble Festival has chosen Trinity Church as its location for 2020! April 26 will feature two services sung by 50 young choristers from throughout the Carolinas, directed by Dr. Charles Hogan. This will be a 10:30 a.m. service and a 4:30 p.m. evensong, preceded by a 4 p.m. student organ recital.
Concerts and services are free and all are welcome. Phone (843) 448-8426.
■ Tidelands Ford will sponsor a Charity Glowball Golf Tournament April 24 at Wachesaw Plantation in Murrells Inlet. Proceeds will benefit Help4Kids and there are some wonderful prizes. Go to email@example.com.
■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, will have a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 Business, near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or e-mail Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).
Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.-noon,
On Wednesdays: Advanced Hebrew.
Phone (843) 953-4930 or go to the website jhssc.org/contest.
■ Don’t miss the 12th Annual Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival that has been rescheduled for Sept. 19. Sign up your team today.
■ Low Country Food Bank and Faith Outreach Ministries sponsor Drive-Thru Food Distributions at the Myrtle Beach Bowl, 101 Philip Gray Drive. These are no-cost community events and will be held at 3 p.m. on the following Fridays: May 1, July 10, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.
■ Mark the Date: The 24th Annual Blessing of the Inlet at Belin United Methodist Church, Murrells Inlet, will be held May 2. More information coming up in Church Talk.