Coronavirus – Day Five – Devotion
Stay Calm…Wash Your Hands…Practice Six Feet of Social Distancing…Check on a Friend or Neighbor by Phone…Call Someone to Tell Them That You Love Them…Pray
“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.”
– John Calvin
He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff;
no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.
Jesus is sending his disciples on their first mission trip and he tells them to pack light. Now my experience going on mission trips with youth is that young people need a detailed list of what to take and for sure, they need to know what not to take. Jesus doesn’t mention the need for rain gear, work gloves, and dressing in layers. Jesus doesn’t mention the need to leave your cell phones, video games, and credit cards at home. But, he does get a bit specific with sandals and tunics.
Jesus says that his disciples only need one tunic and one pair of sandals. In other words, don’t be weighed down by baggage but be ready to move into whatever homes offer you hospitality, a meal, and a bed to rest your head. And, if you aren’t well received, be ready to move on.
Surely during this time of crisis we are learning to get by with less. Julie and I have given up some of our favorite things. Just to be safe we no longer go out to eat (even take-out), we don’t go to the gym, and we are having withdrawal symptoms from not visiting the Sunrise Theater for a good movie…or even a not-so-good movie. Mostly, we feel isolated from friends and family and we would really like to give our grandson a big hug.
Getting by with less gets us to taking stock about what is really important in our lives. So, perhaps this is a good time for us all to go through our attics, basements, and closets to see what things we can do without and donate to the Chapel Sale. But, more importantly, this is a good time to spend time with those things that are truly important…prayer, Bible study, meditation…just listening for the small, still voice of God that we sometimes don’t take time to hear when our lives are busy and normal. Perhaps these things are what we need in this time of crisis. Perhaps these things are our one pair of sandals and one tunic.
A Time of Meditation:
I encourage you to take a few minutes, sit in silence, and consider what things you have given up during the coronavirus outbreak that you might see now as unimportant…things that you might want to not take back up again when the crisis is over. Also, why not take time to think about the things in your life that have taken on new importance over the last few weeks and thank God for all those new found blessings.
Lord Jesus, we want to pack our bags full of things to meet our needs no matter what we encounter, but you call us to let go of whatever slows us down from responding to your call on our lives. Help us to leave behind anything that diminishes our faithfulness to you and to discover what is really important and essential to living a life that witnesses to the constant provision promised by God. Amen.
One of the things that God has promised us is that God will never leave us in times of crisis. Edward and Tamara offer this song of comfort to all of us:
We will be worshipping soon in an unexpected place. I want you to be a part of it. We will be using something as unusual as a burning bush. It is called Zoom and I encourage you to go to your computer or phone and download Zoom so that you will be able to join us for a live worship service on March 29th at 9:00. Pajamas are allowed! If you have difficulty downloading Zoom, please give me a call and one of our Tech Deacons will contact you with assistance.
As a follow up to yesterday’s devotion Tamara and Edward offer this beautiful song:
May the grace and peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ,
be with you now and forevermore…