where love is alive 

The word Sympathy refers to sorrowful feelings about another’s misfortune.  The word Empathy represents our ability to understand other people’s feelings as if we were having them ourselves.  In the past days my home’s personal experience with Covid has taken us from Sympathy to Empathy, deepening our level of understanding and perspective in many ways.  Here are some reflections on what a perspective of Empathy means to me. 

Empathy means your earnest prayers and expressions of love for my home feel so very heartwarming.  Such grace is one of the heavenly benefits of a wonderful church family.  I wrote recently that the way to add power to your prayer is to tell people that you are praying for them. You are doing that abundantly with us and we feel your love. Thank you, North Cleveland Baptist, for your gracious intercessions and concern. You are a divine gift to our lives as you minister to my home.

Empathy means it is more concerning to know firsthand how people are affected differently by Covid.  My case has been relatively mild while Michelle and others have had much more severe symptoms. However, no Covid case is to be taken lightly. By going through Covid ourselves, our hearts go out to all who have, who are, and who will struggle with this.

Empathy means urging people to utilize every precaution to protect yourself and your loved ones.  No one wants to be infected nor would anyone want to be the source of spread to another individual or group. So please utilize all due caution. 

Towards that end, as we return to in-person worship this Sunday at 8:00 and 9:45 AM, I remind you of the safeguards we strongly encourage everyone to take regarding worship attendance:

  • Do not attend if you are sick or have been around anyone who is sick.
  • Do not attend if you are awaiting Covid test results, plan on getting tested soon, or have been around someone who has or is planning to be tested.
  • Practice social distancing throughout your time on campus.
  • Allow your temperature to be taken at the door. Do not enter if you are running even a mild fever.
  • We ask that you wear a mask the entire time you are around people. Back in July I wrote what remains true today: I have yet to hear of a virus outbreak among a congregation where a vast majority of people wore masks. Remember, a mask helps you, but it primarily protects other individuals from being infected by viruses you may unknowingly be carrying. Such concern for other people is a good and biblical perspective.

I am honored to be your pastor and appreciate the love and respect you graciously show to me.  Again, thank you for your ongoing prayers.                                -Dr. Jay



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