SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
My thanks to the LPC elder who reminded me of these words yesterday. The counsel she had offered as a medical professional was wise and good. The words she shared as a sister in Christ were better.
Christians are people filled with hope and joy. We need not let our current anxiety-provoking situation drain from our lives the gift God has given.
“Pandemics Kill Compassion, Too,” reads the headline of a column in yesterday’s New York Times. Pray that our compassion – and our hope and our joy – are not victims of the virus.
HERE WE STAND…BUT WE MAY DO OTHER
With apologies to the great reformer, we may change our minds. Some have asked us about plans for any schedule changes at the church. Our best answer for anything other than a day or two out is simply, “We don’t know.” Our decision to cancel or continue any event will be based on what we hear from the Pennsylvania and Bucks County Departments of Health, the CDC, other authorities, and our own LPC health professionals. Our decisions will be based on our values: faith, hope, love, care, compassion, wisdom, and prudence.
Pray for our leaders; pray for one another.
DISTANCE BUT NOT ISOLATION
Social distance is one of the practices that’s been commended to us. For some of us that will mean avoiding handshakes (a good idea) or maintaining a 3-6 foot distance from one another. For others it may be a self-imposed quarantine, while for still others it may be an enforced quarantine.
One of the benefits of our digital age is that while we will practice different distancing disciplines, we need not be isolated. Phone calls, emails, text messaging, social media posting, and video conferencing are tools at our hands. Use them! Some of us will need to be alone, but none of us need to be isolated from friends and from the Body of Christ.
Note: Most hospitals and care facilities have or will limit visitation with patients and residents. But many of those patients and residents have a phone or tablet with them. Be a virtual visitor!
Finally, audio recordings of Sunday’s sermons are always available at our website, usually by noon on Sunday. We hope to make video recordings and possibly live streaming available soon. If you must miss worship, please stay connected with your church family and the ministry of worship and the Word.
THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
We’ve been told we should develop some new habits: thoroughly washing our hands (I mentioned it somewhat in jest last week, but I am really enjoying the discipline of a 20-second Lord’s Prayer as I wash!); not to touch our faces (that’s a tough one).
The Apostle Paul recommends an even more difficult to establish new habit: “think about these things.” The TV and the newsfeeds are talking about the virus non-stop. We get together with friends (no handshakes or hugs) and we talk about what we’ve heard on the TV and read on our newsfeeds. We out-panic one another.
Paul tells the Philippians to turn off the TV and close the website. Think about whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise.
Go outside and find a daffodil. Look at the cloudy sky. Open a picture album with photos of family and friends. Read from the Psalms or a gospel. Think about something other than the crisis. Give thanks. Rejoice. Pray.
See you Sunday, Lord willing