"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
O LORD, You have searched me and You know me. You know
when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.
Psalm 139: 1, 2 (NIV)
From what it looks like in the Scripture above, the Lord was doing some “social distancing!” God doesn’t have to be right in our faces to know what is going on with us; He perceives all we do from afar. Afar isn’t a word you hear much anymore. It’s not even in the New Testament. Afar may be right up there with “hunker down.” Those are words I heard growing up.
It’s funny how different regions of the country have different phrases they use. I worked with a guy who pronounced his words different. Sometimes I’d have to ask him several times what he was saying. One word he said was, “Wousp.” I had him repeat a half dozen times before I figured out he was talking about a wasp. His mother was from Louisiana and may have been part Cajun, which may explain some of his expressions.
What is it that we don’t understand when God tells us something? I think He’s pretty clear on things, but other people seem to get confused or get it totally wrong. They try to read more into it than there is or they let “professionals” tell them what He said. Now, pastors would be considered professionals,
I guess. This is why I like to just go through the Scripture and maybe clarify who the author is writing to, where they are, what’s going on at that time, and how this affects us today. I’ve enjoyed going through the Gospel of Luke and most of the Book of Acts and then seeing how some of the letters Paul wrote connect with those churches he planted years before.
To get back to the verse above...we have been doing church from afar. It doesn’t feel right. You don’t like it, and we don’t like it. But, if that’s what we have to do to get past this corona virus and keep the majority of people (people like us) healthy, then we’ll get through this. God is with us whether we meet together corporately or privately in our homes. Just be sure to continue to worship Him wherever you are.
I’m not quite sure what our church can do to reach out to people during this hunkering down order. It’s difficult to reach people from afar. My recommendation is to continue to pray for each other and pray that those who have not received Jesus as their Lord and Savior do so sooner than later. The times may be perilous for some. For those of us who are Believers, we know our bags are packed and ready to go. That may not be so for our neighbors. Please, share the peace you have from Jesus that is
in your heart with those you may come across who are distressed and worried. That may be our best witness.
IF...we get the opportunity to meet before Easter, I’d like to have another Holy Thursday and a Tenebrae service, like we did last year, on the Thursday and Friday, respectively, before Easter. Those will be at 7 pm. Easter service will still be at the regular time. Keep that in mind as we get closer to those dates, but also remember we may still be unable to meet in person.
I do want to add that the United Methodist General Conference that was to meet May 5th through the 15th has been postponed. For us as a fellowship, it continues to leave us in limbo on what our church will do in the future. Continue to pray for the Conference decisions in the days ahead.
Well, that’s what I’ve got for this month. We may worship from afar but remember what Jesus said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28: 20b NIV) He’s not as afar off as we may think. God bless and let’s pray that we have a great Easter!