It's March 7 and even though the calendar still says winter, it's starting to feel like spring in Iowa. In a few days, we are projected to have a high temperature near 70 with thunderstorms. Like many people, I am looking forward to getting outside again, but it isn't possible for some.
A year ago tomorrow was the last day I was physically in church, except for preaching. At the end of the evening service, a doctor and county health official told about a virus that was especially hard for older people to withstand. It was advised elderly stay home for a few weeks. Not long after, the entire world shutdown due to the virus, but it would only be for two weeks.
Now that it has nearly been 52 weeks, most areas still have restrictions on how many people can be together, how close, and other regulations. Churches in particular have been hit hard with regulations and told not to have full capacity, don't sing, or not meet together at all. Some congregations have looked to God's Word for their foundation in all situations, even pandemics. They have seen government going beyond what God has given for the government's responsibility and continued worshiping. I follow one of these congregations.
In Canada, Pastor James Coates leads a congregation that has seen how the church was singled out for restrictions. As a result, he preached to a full sanctuary on February 14 and preached an excellent sermon on Romans 13. Two days later, he was arrested and taken with handcuffs and leg irons to a maximum security prison where he is in isolation 23 hours a day. He can be released at any time as long as he agrees not to preach.
Two days ago, a hearing was held to get the release conditions dropped, but they were upheld. Pastor Coates will remain in jail until his trial in May. Jesus said that just as He was persecuted, Christians need to expect the same.
We often think of situations like these happening in Asia or the Middle East, not North America. Unfortunately, with a current bill being debated in the Senate, I and others think it will be happening in America as well. I'm thankful this past week went well for the videos I produced and I pray God uses them for His glory. For another week, I will watch and wait to see what happens while living the quad life.