Thursday, 19 March 2020

COVID-19, Thursday, March 19

Dear Church Family,

Today is the first day of spring.  I pray that you have seen signs of God’s faithfulness as some of your perennials poke their heads through the earth and the first buds appear on our trees. I’m no gardener, but even our gardens are showing new life!  Despite the discouraging news that we hear 24/7, life does go on.  I talked to someone today who was blessed with a new grandbaby. Birthdays are being celebrated remotely. The Oberammergau Passion Play, which we had planned to see this spring, will happen, but in 2022! 
We know that God is with us through this, but at the same time, we tend to ask, “Can’t God do something to fix this?”
That’s the same question that was asked when Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus died.  “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37 – part of today’s scripture reading).

The question is not answered in this passage.  The obvious answer, is that, yes, Jesus could have prevented the death of Lazarus; God could have spared us from COVID-19.  The more difficult question is, “Why didn’t he?” 

I can give you answers about how God has granted us freedom to choose and therefore freedom to live with the consequences of our choices, or how, like in John 11, Jesus demonstrates his love most clearly in our times of struggle, or, quoting C.S. Lewis, that pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.  But none of those answers truly satisfy.

Perhaps the better approach is one of humility and love.  Humility before a God whose ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8,9) and love for those who are having a more difficult time than you might be dealing with right now. Please check in on one another.  Stay connected with our church family.  And please, if you are not on the Bridge App yet, via your cell phone, or know of someone who doesn’t know how to make it happen, send an email or leave a message at the church office.

May God bless you, on this first day of spring, with evidence of his faithfulness.
Pastor Rita

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