Saturday, 21 March 2020

COVID-19, Saturday, March 21

Dear Church Family,

I hope that you are making an effort to stay in touch with one another. Please, please, contact your elder or me if you have any needs that are causing you concern. I talk to my kids almost every day – not sure if I’m checking up on them or if they think they are checking in on their parents!! But not everyone has that sort of regular contact.

In a Skype conversation this morning, one son and daughter-in-law described some of the things they are doing with their children. They bought Catan Junior; each game lasts about half an hour – “perfect length,” they said, “for their 6-10 year olds.”  One of their girls is into animal rescue shows. They haven’t yet got into home-schooling mode – but it’s coming.  The other thing they are dealing with is the questions from their children.  “If a friend’s birthday party has been cancelled, will mine by cancelled too?” Parents need to find the balance between what are real concerns and what are inconveniences, between what is urgent and what can wait, between looking on the bright side while also acknowledging the hurt and pain of the COVID pandemic.

No different than us.  Yes, we know God is in control and that the battle is his (II Chronicles 20:15); yes, we know that we are more valuable to God than those beautiful birds of the air (Matthew 6:26); yes, we know that after this life we will rise again in the resurrection (last week’s reading from John 11:24). But we also know that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33); we know that the whole creation is groaning (Romans 8:22); pure joy to face trials of many kinds?? (James 1:2) – really?

As we have these conversations, it is so important that the words are not just words.  Like the incarnation of Jesus, we need some flesh on our love.  So, let’s make it real. If you come across a scripture verse that touches you, share it with someone (thank you to those who have done so for me!). If God places on your heart someone for whom to pray, do it, and then let them know that you prayed for them. Find out if your neighbours and friends need groceries or if they need someone to pick up their meds for them. Even if you can’t get out yourself, let your elder know and he/she will make it happen.  Have you watched a good movie or read a good book?  Recommend it to someone.

We must not trivialize the severity of what is happening, but neither do we lose hope. May the God of all comfort, comfort us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (II Corinthians 1:3,4).

“See” you tomorrow morning.
Pastor Rita

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