I hope everyone is surviving and staying sane in our recent pandemic! I had initially intended to talk about Easter in this newsletter. But instead, it has been a week when our wildest dreams – right out of a pandemic movie became a reality. It has brought “changes” that we never imagined in just a few days. Change that has changed our lives, our routine, our country and our world. It really is day-to-day. Lots of the distractions are gone.
Instead, it is replaced by new routines and of some boredom…“now what can I do?” Let me offer (1) a question, (2) a “spiritual reality: “What can I do?” and (3) ultimately hope in the face of fear (part of my online sermon this Sunday).
(1) A QUESTION: Did you do or see or experience anything that was a blessing to you or someone else that would not have happened were we not practicing social distancing? Share it with me. I’m looking for good “true to life” sermon stories. ( Text or call me at 515-418-0807 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(2) SPIRITUAL REALITY: “WHAT CAN I DO?” As I shared in the sermon last Sunday, it’s the question I asked an emergency room doctor when I had Connie (my wife) in the ER. In light of everything going on, I asked, “What can I do?” His response was “Love one another!” It shocked me back into a spiritual reality when he spoke those words. In all honesty, it was the last thing I expected him to say. “You’re a Pastor. You know this.” He told me that was the greatest thing you could do –
a spiritual reality turned into an action. People are going to need that in the days and weeks ahead.
Now we will have to put “Love One Another” into action. Day by day, call by call, text by text, note by note… that will be what really gets us through. I needed the words he spoke which reminded me that even though we are practicing “social distancing” we still have the mission call from Jesus:
“Go be the church.” Again, I’m looking for stories about what you have done or what has been done “unto you” that was all about “Love One Another.” Share them with me…Be a light in time of crisis!
(3) And Finally, HOPE IN THE FACE OF FEAR: Fear has an important role to play in our lives – it helps us avoid or prepare for danger. But fear is meant to move us to action, and beyond that, I believe, to faith. A couple of years ago I shared an “acronym” that helps us to live unafraid – the first letter is from the word “FEAR”: Face your fears with a bias of hope (we choose to believe things will get better) Examine your fears in the light of the facts (we’ll be doing that this weekend) Attack your anxieties with action (fear is meant to lead us to act)
Release your cares to God Over 100 times the Bible tells us, “Don’t be afraid.” In Psalm 27:1 David tells us why: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Again, in Psalm 56:3-4, David tells of his strategy for combatting fear:
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid.”