Coronavirus Day 6 Devotion

Coronavirus – Day Six – 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…Mail Your Offering into the Chapel…Pray

Isaiah 26:20
Go, my people, enter your chambers,
And lock your doors behind you.
Hide but a little moment, until the wrath passes.
Posted on Twitter by Rabbi Danya Gutenberg

Luke 15:11-24
The father said to his slaves,
“Quickly, bring out a robe – the best one –
and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.”
(verse 22)

I only have very limited experience working at homeless shelters, but it doesn’t take long for you to begin to understand why underwear and socks are the most sought out items for those who are destitute. All sorts of charities and multitudes of churches inundate homeless shelters with used clothes and in the middle of winter, those donations are much appreciated, but who wants to wear “used” underwear and socks. In fact, on the other side of the equation, it personally gives me the creeps to think that someone would wear my used underwear!

If you want to see joy on many faces, just show up at a homeless shelter with “new” underwear and “new” socks and you will instantly see that you have made their day. But, the gift of new underwear and socks has many additional benefits. Donations such as these can enhance someone’s hygiene, improve someone’s health, and restore someone’s dignity. Sometimes a simple gift such as this can tell someone that they are loved and valued.

The story of the Prodigal Son tells of a young man returning home expecting a scolding but instead he receives an exuberant welcome, a gift of new clothes, and a feast. His father, the true prodigal of the story, just wants him to know that he is highly valued and unconditionally loved, so he offers new clothes, new shoes, and food to celebrate and to satisfy his hunger.

This week the Mission Team of the Chapel, on your behalf, gave a gift of $500.00 to the program, Staples for Students that is providing food to satisfy the hunger of students at West End Elementary School who rely on school breakfasts and lunches that they are not receiving because of the closure of Moore County Schools due to the coronavirus outbreak. Can you imagine the faces of joy on those children when they partake of the feast that you and others have provided. I believe that it will send a message to them that they are valued…that they are loved…that they are one of God’s children of great worth.

Thanks be to God for Laura Beth Urie and Tracey Olsen and all the members of our Mission Team, for West End Presbyterian Church for acting as the distribution site for this project, and for all of you, who through your donations and support for this Chapel, provide new clothes and new shoes in the form of a feast for our local children who are in need.

A Time of Meditation:

In a time of silence remember a time when you received a gracious response when you expected a judgement. Remember a time when you experienced a sense of being loved and valued. When have you offered that same grace to someone else?

Closing Prayer:

God of grace, you run out to meet us with love when we anticipate having to beg for your mercy. Knowing the joy of your grace we seek to live in ways that cause your goodness and mercy to overflow into every corner of our homes, every pew of our Chapel, and every child who knows hunger in our community. O God, you are truly “prodigal” with your gift of grace and we too feel valued and loved. For this we give you our thanks and our praise. Amen.

Think back to just a few years ago when we were amazed by a most talented singer, Adele. Tamara and I agree that Lauren Daigle’s voice has the same honest and raspy quality as Adele’s. So today Tamara and I would like to offer you this song sung by Lauren Daigle…but I am convinced that one day, when we look back on Adele and Lauren we will say to ourselves…”You know they sounded just like Jade Baker!” Jade brought many of us to tears two weeks ago in worship with her offering of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables. You can still hear it on the Chapel website under “Service Audio.” I recommend Jade’s song to you today as well as you close out your time of devotion. Click here or copy and paste into your web browser for Lauren’s song:

May the grace and peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ,
be with you now and forevermore…
Pastor Paul