Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/19/2020

Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/19/2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,


Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.


Now weeks and weeks into this pandemic crisis, people are starting to feel a bit more edgy in their questions and behavior. Some are even putting others more at risk by engaging in behaviors that go against protocols of social distancing and stay-at-home measures. Certainly all of us want to see an end to this crisis. But what can we expect if not a few are beginning to lose patience and disengage from safe practices? Have we come to believe that we are safeguarded from the virus and its deadly effects because it hasn't hit this area as bad as some others? Do we think that the virus cannot and will not direct its deadly course nearer to us than we have already experienced, especially if now we abandon safe practices?


Certainly the question of WHEN is penetrating our hearts and hanging from our lips. WHEN will things return to some "normal"? WHEN will this crisis come to an end? WHEN will we have vaccines and other medical interventions that will keep us more safe? WHEN can we expect to get back to work and renew the economy? WHEN will we be able to return to church for worship and socialization? WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? 


In uncomfortable and challenging situations, this question of "WHEN" widely circulates. It is reminiscent of the disciples' concerns following the death and resurrection of Jesus as recorded in Acts 1. The disciples have experienced great change in their lives and their perceived purpose all in a matter of a few days. How would they reconcile the months and months of following Jesus and learning from him with life apart from his physical presence? How were they to relate his teachings of the presence of God's Kingdom with what might yet be experienced in their future? How to make the connection between the what and the WHEN? And so they ask, "Lord, is this the time WHEN you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). And Jesus responded, "It is not for you to know the times or the periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power WHEN the Holy Spirit has come upon you..." 


The WHEN rests only with God. But in the meantime we are called to be witnesses, witnessing to God's authority and wisdom, witnessing to the truth as it is revealed by God, and witnessing that, truth be told, our hearts will be restless until they find their rest in God. The issues and concerns of a return to 'normal", the renewal of the economy, and whatever else crosses our minds are best served when delivered to God in sincere prayer, awaiting God's guidance and direction. 


Waiting isn't always easy, particularly as the responses to our "WHEN's" are often vague and general, lacking in specific and measurable outcomes. But rushing into a "WHEN" when the answer isn't clearly forthcoming may be hazardous and dangerous, particularly in dealing with a crisis of deadly proportions. Is there any life expendable for a return to "normal"? Are any lives to be sacrificed for the good of the many? Ponder we must.


Cling to God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ to guide our thoughts and actions. Measure the risks you take with an understanding of God's presence and the future that shall come to us as a gracious gift from God.  Pastor John