Dear Congregation of Trinity Cheyenne – April 16, 2020

“The Resurrection,” Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), tempera on panel, 1457-1459

Trinity Lutheran Church
1111 East 22nd Street, Cheyenne, WY
Pastor John C. Preus
(307) 222-8299

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ — Members of Trinity Lutheran Church,

“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 1:3).

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!!!

This past Holy Week and Easter, we were able to meet in several small groups for regular worship. You can hear the sermons for each day by visiting our church website. I commend all three of them to all of you, especially you who have not been able to attend or listen. I knew not everyone would come. But as I always do, I was preaching to all of you. They are intentionally applicable to our current situation.

Having three services for each day turned out to be a great success. We were able to keep abundantly safe by the strictest standards. And we, of course, remained within the confines of the law.

I sure hope that this pandemic and the panic it is causing ends soon. I pray that you all remain safe from sickness and from the mental stress this partial lockdown has on the mind and body. (I say partial, because compared to other states, we have had it very easy. Thank God. And Lord have mercy on those who are more restricted than we!) I’m sure things will begin to return to something like normal soon. My guess is that the residual fear in many hearts will be the greatest hurdle to resuming regular attendance again. The world can dictate fear. But the world has no power to take it away. Hearing God’s word and receiving the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, especially this Easter season, is the best thing for all of you. I say this with authority. I say it as one who knows better than any doctor or lawyer. Hearing God’s word is what each of you needs more than anything. I don’t want anyone taking any foolish risks. Stay safe, healthy, and in compliance with rightful orders of the state. But remember:

He who craves a precious treasure
Neither cost nor pain will measure,
But the priceless gifts of heaven
God to us hath freely given.
Though the wealth of earth were proffered,
Naught would buy the gifts here offered:
Christ’s true body, for thee riven,
And His blood, for thee once given.

What cost and pain have you risked for lesser goods than the Lord’s Supper, which gives you the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation – and true peace and safety in a dangerous world? Please come if you are able. Please call for a visit from me if you are not able. The Lord’s Supper isn’t an afterthought of God. It was on the front of his mind the night he was betrayed. You were on the front of his mind. It is his last will and testament for your peace, instituted especially for those who are weak and prone to doubt and worry. Jesus had every intricacy of your situation in mind when he instituted this Sacrament and invited you to receive it often. I need not stay long if you receive me in your homes. I can stand on the other side of the screen door if you want. But I want to do what Jesus commands me to distribute and commands you to receive.

Since Holy Week worked out so well, here is our schedule for at least the next couple weeks:

  • Saturday Divine Service @ 5:00pm
  • Sunday Divine Service @ 9:00am
  • Sunday Divine Service @ 11:00am — no Bible class

We will try to spread you all out. If you are used to coming on Saturday, please come on Saturday. If you normally sit more towards the front on Sunday, please come at 9:00 and spread out. If you normally sit toward the back, please come at 11:00 and spread out. Don’t feel bad if you don’t heed these last requests. If you all try to, things will be generally spread out. We have plenty of room. We are dozens of times safer than the Walmart check-out area, and are more obedient to our Governor’s directions than any grocery store. If the sanctuary looks to have more people in it than you think is safe, please sit up in the balcony or sit in chairs in the narthex. I will bring Communion to anyone who does not want to come to the rail.

Please call me or even text me if you have any apprehensions. I will be trying to call all of you again in the next few weeks. Christ is risen, dear brothers and sisters. He breathes peace on his disciples with the command to forgive our sins. We have nothing to be afraid of. You are in my prayers. Please keep me and each other in yours.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

In Christ,

Pastor John Preus