Happy Tuesday! This is the day that the Lord has made …our job is to rejoice and be glad in it! These are strange times to do ministry! Yesterday, I performed a graveside funeral for 5 people upholding social distancing and no gatherings. It broke my heart to not have hugs and high fives for them.
Today, I will be doing a funeral by skype (or speaker phone) to a small group gathered with their loved one…but they can not go to the cemetery because Rittman National Cemetery is closed to families.
And yet in these uncertain and ever changing times, the message stays the same! God hand made each of us. We sin and fall short….daily. The wages of our sin is death…separation from all God and all that is good. And yet, God loves you in spite of you! Sent His Son…to live a sinless life in your place…to die in your place….and to rise so that you too will rise to eternal life thru faith. Even though this world seems broken and messed up …God loves you and is by your side!
I wanted to share a story of a young couple that I was blessed to minister to (I share this with their permission). I did their pre-marriage counseling and wedding. In 2008, they got pregnant….excited to be parents! On a Saturday in October, I got a call that they were in labor, but something was wrong…please pray. A second call asked me to come to the Clinic…baby had complications. There world felt like it was caving in on them! We baptized their baby boy…and watched with fear as he had many operations over the next 7 days. Just hours before the life support was shut off, the father said something very profound. He said “I always imagined all the things I would teach my son…and yet I learned much more from him in his short life”.
My funeral message expounded on that thought. Their son taught us that life is fragile…every moment counts…it’s a gift from God! Their son taught us that we need to tell our loved ones that we love them…do it daily! Their son taught us that family is a gift of God to get us thru the storm. Their son taught us that church is central to spiritual growth and connection with God. Their son taught the power of baptism. The mom clutched the baptism certificate to her chest knowing that her son was a child of God. Their son taught us that faith in Jesus is the greatest gift of Hope during all of life’s trials. The family eventually grew with 2 healthy children…and faith grows daily!
So…why did I share their story with you? Well…life today (3/24/2020) seems like the world is caving in for many of us! Many feel the grief of lost jobs, isolation from loved ones, loss of control of their situations. So…what can we learn from the 7 day life of the child I just told you about?
- That life is fragile…every moment counts…it’s a gift from God!
- That we need to tell our loved ones that we love them…do it daily!
- That family is a gift from God to get us thru the storm.
- That church is central to spiritual growth and connection with God.
- That there is power in the gift of baptism. Do you cherish your baptismal relationship with the Lord? If not baptized, then talk to me about getting baptized.
- That faith in Jesus is the greatest gift of Hope in the midst of life’s trials.
- The fact is that God has plans for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
- What plans does he have for you today? Who does He want you to reach out to…to pray for…to share the good news with…to give hope to?
Lord…We are faced with trials of many kinds due to the Coronavirus. Some of us are facing financial uncertainties, health issues, stress and anxiety about the future, isolation and loneliness. Lord, we need you to calm our anxieties, meet our physical needs, keep us safe and our bodies healthy, remind us that you are ever present, ever loving, and ever kind. Encourage each of us to reach out to others with love and concern. Give wisdom to our government leaders…and safety to those working in the trenches. Amen.
I encourage each of you to:
- Spend time in God’s Word and prayer. Seek and follow His will for you today.
- Reach out in Love to at least 3 people who may be in need, lonely, or depressed.
- Check out royred.org for worship, devotionals, and other resources.