As your pastor I am concerned about where you spend the limited and strained resources of your heart, soul, mind, and strength today.
My prayer for you is Psalm 23.
You have a Shepherd.
You lack nothing.
He makes you stop because you need to stop. You need quietness. In the quiet He refreshes and guides you.
Psalm 23 was the prayer book Jesus used. Read it. Pray it out loud.
Come to Jesus today and personalize Psalm 23. He will meet you in that moment.
Now you are free to do things that make a difference.
What can I choose to do today that can make a difference?
- Remember that this time of coming together by staying apart will be over.
As you follow Jesus remember that we are in this together. We are strong and will be stronger when this is over. Stronger in a new way. None of our lives will be as they were, but we will be better together. That’s the church. Something that not even the gates of hell on earth can stand against.
- Imagine how good you are going to feel when this is over.
You are going to appreciate normal life more than ever before.
Think of all that we’ve take for granted: lunch with a friend, meetings at work, standing in line to get a state fair corndog, music in the park, and groups of children at the playground.
Imagine how good we will all feel at the same time when we reassemble to worship Jesus together in the sanctuary. That first greeting at the door. That first song. That first welcome. That first gathered prayer. That first nursery check-in. That first cup of coffee and cookie. Imagine the liberation of public worship when every petty thought of personal preference is banished. Imagine a time of worship focused on us before Jesus, not me. This will feel so good when it is over.
- Grateful to be alive at a time like this.
Never in all human history have the smartest and most brilliant scientists, medical professionals and inventors from every country focused all their God-given genius on the same problem at the same time…in real time. They are working hard and putting in a serious effort.
As followers of Jesus let’s do our part.
Pray for them.
Follow their advice.
Check your pride at the door and ask:
“Do I know more than all the smartest people in the world?” No.
“Do I care that those in government or media have made mistakes?” Not right now. That question is important but can be dissected when this is done. Certainly, there are lessons to be learned, but now is not the time to allow that question absorb all my emotional energy.
- Accept God’s invitation into a new reality of doing life as we follow Jesus.
In Mark 6:30-32 Jesus invited His followers to find a place of silence and solitude because of the strain they were under. If you don’t come apart for a while, you will come apart after a while.
Please join me tonight, March 18, at 6:30 pm for a livestream devotional on the MapleRidge Church Facebook page. (Below are instructions for you to tune in even if you do not have a Facebook account.)
Instead of a study on Romans or a message about the current crisis, let’s walk into the Word together and create a sacred space to meet with Jesus in our homes. It will reduce your stress and get you away from the 24/7 news cycle.
I am not coming to you with answers. I don’t have this figured out. At times I don’t have my own anxieties under control. But I have a Shepherd and I shall not lack. I need you to go with me before the Good Shepherd so that together we can lie down and be restored. For a short time, we will not pray together at the church, but we can all pray together as the church wherever we may be.
Serving Jesus alongside you with love and hope, Pastor Scott
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