(Please check out the end of this post for some great hymns for a time such as this)
Hello Church Family, this is Pastor Phil.
This week, I really appreciated it when President Trump talked about health care workers going into work with a determination on their faces like soldiers marching towards the front line. That takes courage to go in and out of a situation where normally you know illness is but now so much more with this new, highly contagious virus and the exponentially increasing demands on all of our health care workers.
That single word, courage, has been on my mind this past week. The times that we are living in right now demands courage from each of us to face the challenges ahead. Each day presents a new surprise and a new hill to climb. Life is not how it has been. Right now, we cannot worship together like we are used too, jobs are often uncertain and even gone. We don’t like it but we don’t have too, it is what it is. Like it or not, now is a time to stand strong, soldier through, and hold up our brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends. We are all in this together, and together is how we will pull through to the other side.
This past week I was talking to one of our older parishioners and we were sharing how much we are missing being in worship together. Then he said something to me that reminded of the strength of his confession of faith. He said it something like this. As Christians, in this situation it’s a win/win for us. If we live, we’re with Jesus and when we die we’re with Jesus. Now, he wasn’t being reckless or cavalier with his attitude. Him and his family are taking the proper precautions, only going out if the absolutely have too, and staying as healthy as they can. Rather, his confession was simply a statement of fact. How it was.
As Christians, our courage comes from Jesus. Think of this passage from 2 Corinthians 5:6-9.
So, we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
For those in Christ Jesus, this life is a win/win. As we live, we live by faith, knowing that Jesus is with us, comforting us, forgiving us, and leading us to our eternal home where things like viruses no longer exist. Living with Jesus, we win. Not if, but when we die, we still win, knowing that we will receive fully that hope we have been looking forward too. Whether we live or when we die, we still win, because we belong to Jesus no matter what happens. Not that we are reckless with this earthly life given, because being reckless would be disrespectful to the gift of life from our Heavenly Father, rather we live with courage, bravely facing whatever it is that this life brings to us.
Living courageously in Jesus frees us up from so much worry and allows to focus on living out our duties that God has given us to do, and working hard to help those in need all around us. Working for the good of others because of the good we have been given. Right now we do this by being on the front lines in health care, and we do this by sewing masks for those that don’t have any, like many of our members are doing right now, and we do this picking up the phone and calling someone and sending them some love. Honestly, there are more ways of loving right our neighbors right now than we can ever hope to accomplish. But that’s a good thing because we know there is always work to do and love to give and courage to lend.
This is our time to be brave.