Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
-Jesus (Matthew 6:28b-29)
I was sitting in my quiet office at RPC a few days ago. Bill Hoff was preaching the following Sunday at our online worship service, so I didn’t have a sermon to prepare. My oldest daughter, now working from home, sent a picture text to our family group of the yogurt she had made at home. My kiddie’s Momma (my wife 😊) used to make yogurt when the girls were young. I think she gave it up by the time Arden arrived on the scene. If you’ve tried, you know that yogurt is not easily manufactured. All kinds of issues arise…like consistency and tartness. Family texts flew fast and furious for a while, as we were mostly working from home, or at least close by. “Hey,” one of the tech-savvy crowd opined, “let’s do a group video chat.” So we did. Doesn’t happen often with six scattered, highly-scheduled people. We presently call the northwest, southwest, southeast, midwest, and northeast (OK, the northeast-ish part of the midwest) “home.” Much against our will and desire, Covid-19 slowed us down enough to pay attention…to each other!
God didn’t send this latest coronavirus to make my family communicate with one another. We do that already. Still, in the middle of this disrupted time, we are prodded to stay in touch: to remember, to laugh, to support each other. I actually pride myself on doing nothing pretty well. It’s biblical…called Sabbath. When I was growing up, Sabbath was enforced in my home. It’s kind of being enforced again. I didn’t like it so much then; and I’m not crazy about the enforced kind now. You know, after six days/eras of creative activity, God rested…and looked around. “Very good!” God concluded. Creation remains very good in bucketsful of ways. We are enduring a time of enforced Sabbath. Follow the Creator’s example and look around. Be like Jesus and “consider the lilies.” We’re itching big time for the Monday of normalcy to return. It might be a while. We’re stuck in Sabbath mode—Sunday, in the way we count the weeks. I’m not telling you to be happy about it. I am inviting you (and me!!!) to make good use of the time. ‘Cuz right now, time we got! We WILL learn some important lessons because of Covid-19. Be sure you don’t miss them when they whack you (figuratively) upside the head.
Prayer: Creator God, your grace has always been sufficient for us to meet all the challenges of life. We continue to pray for those who are ill, who are at the front lines battling disease, and who are making policy recommendations at the highest levels of society. We also pray for ourselves, that we may not lose heart but remain steadfast as people of hope. Guide us in all we say and do, that we may be agents of healing and grace in our world. We ask this in our Savior’s name. Amen.