Rev. Mark Zarling, MLC President, shares a message with the Faculty and Staff:
MLC’s Spring 2020 Update (05/20/2020)
Rev. Mark Zarling, MLC President, shares a spring campus video update below:
A Message to the MLC campus family and friends(03/18/20)
Dear members of the MLC campus family and friends of this College of Ministry,
You know the promises. You have recited the promises. Jesus says, where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Jesus says, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. …I will be with you always to the very end of the age. As the pandemic of Covid 19 now shatters America’s sense of safety, don’t listen to the growing panic but listen to the eternal promises. Jesus has not left us comfortless. He is with us to sustain us.
Certainly, every Bible reader thinks about the pale horse of Revelation 6 when we hear the reports of the rapid spread of this virus. No Christian is really surprised. Since the fall, sin and suffering and sickness permeates our existence this side of heaven. And as the world wobbles toward judgement day, a loving Lord has forecast the woes and tribulations that will herald the trumpet. Yet, by the Spirit’s grace, our eyes fix upon Jesus. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Even now, a gracious Lord can use this illness to shake and wake sleeping souls with the urgent cry to repent. For his believers, we live in the confidence that his promises are true, and our souls are safe in his loving embrace. Whether or not any of us contract the illness, we have the joy of knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God!
This pandemic has certainly affected the normal routines of MLC. By now all of you have no doubt read the website updates on MLC’s efforts to mitigate the impact upon our campus family and to follow guidelines from government agencies. Certainly, the routines of our students, faculty, and staff will be greatly impacted. Much will be asked of our students to immerse themselves in distance learning efforts and patiently work to complete course assignments. Much will be asked of our faculty as they work to continue our mission of training future gospel servants albeit in alternative ways. Much will be asked of our staff to continue normal operations amid quarantines or telecommuting or other adjustments while also striving for an extra measure of cleanliness. On April 8 the administrative council will revisit decisions that will impact the last six weeks of the year. Regardless, the two months that remain in the spring semester will not be easy. However, Jesus promises his strength to his people. Jesus will provide what we need as a college, and as individuals. We do not live the next few months alone. We live in Jesus. That means we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Furthermore, the Savior who has every hair of every head counted, knows how best to reach each soul. In love he seeks to shock some souls to ponder the brevity of life. In love he strengthens the souls of his people to remember his guarantee: I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
In closing, I pray with you:
“Dear Jesus, take our prayers to the Father’s heart. We ask you to reach out to countless souls who are confronted with the reality of their mortality and ready their hearts for your message of law and gospel. May the Spirit heal many, many souls even if bodies are infected and sickened with this virus. Comfort your people and remind them that you remain in control of your creation, and your world governance always works for the benefit of your holy Church. Bless us at MLC, and grant us strength and confidence to continue our mission even in such changing circumstances. Give us confidence to believe that even now in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Keep us safe, dear Lord. Keep our students, our staff personnel, and our faculty in the eternal embrace of your infinite love. Give us all a rich measure of your Spirit that we might be living witnesses of the peace and hope and joy you alone can bring to many who live in worry and anxiety. Give our students a sense of urgency to prepare to be the instruments of the Spirit to impact a troubled world with the Gospel that alone brings cheer and comfort even in troubled times. I ask all this in your saving name. Amen.”