Newsletter

SPRING, 2020

BE STILL…AND KNOW…

 

NOBODY EXPECTS A CRISIS! I guess that’s part of what makes it a crisis. And it’s serious! And we’re not prepared!

Some blame China for starting or at least concealing COVID 19. Some call it a conspiracy to destroy America; indeed it has devastated global economy and crippled life as we know it. This present pandemic is for Americans, and  perhaps the world, the worst plague since the flu epidemic of 1918-1919. My mom lost some siblings in that horrendous scourge.

Our president daily faces a barrage of disparaging, scalding criticism. News media constantly ratchet up the fear factor with distressing reports. Prevailing medical “wisdom” advises “social distancing,” isolation in place. “BE STILL!” What is  the answer for our sick, confused, desperate world?

Some say LEARN. Research hopes to understand the virus and devise vaccines to prevent it and drugs to destroy it. We pray that they will succeed soon; LIVES are at stake.

Others say EARN. Enough wealth would eliminate poverty and diseases born of squalor and lack of sanitation. Money for laboratories, social justice, and feeding programs will, they say, cure all of man’s ills. But history has taught us that whoever has the money also has power and it’s evil twin, greed.

Still others want to BURN. They insist that all systems are so hopelessly corrupt that they must be replaced.  Terrorists and anarchists advocate the destruction of all present social and political structures.

Some say CHURN. They seek to destabilize all existing centers of power so they can take over and install their own brand of leadership.

Some say SPURN. Perhaps they see themselves socially or intellectually above grappling with such mundane issues as sickness or economic reversals. They choose aloofness from humanity to insure their lonely illusion of superiority.

A few say ADJOURN. They see no way out; and since life is hopeless, they will just end it. But suicide is NO answer at all!

God says TURN. “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and TURN from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

The prophet Isaiah urged ancient Judah—and us—to: “Seek  the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him RETURN to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly  pardon.”  (Isa. 55:6-7)

“Turn” and “return” are Old Testament equivalents for “repent.” The ministries of both John the Baptist and Jesus began with a call to repentance. Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of action and lifestyle. If such change is not observable, it likely means that the “repentance” was not valid. Willingness to change outwardly proves inward change.

For us, the corona virus was an annoyance. We could no longer walk into just any store or eat at one of our favorite restaurants. Both Ruth and I are huggers, and we did not like not being able to hug our family members or close friends. But sadly, millions suffered financial disaster, not just inconvenience. We pray that the economy of both our country and the world will rebound quickly.

One thing we missed sorely was worshiping with our brothers and sisters. Our church had been in a building program for months and had just started using our new sanctuary on March 8. It was our first AND LAST service there until “social distancing” gets lifted.

Thankfully, our new facilities have the capacity to stream services on Sunday morning; but that’s a far cry from gathering with those of like precious faith. The main advantage of having church in my living room is attending in my sweats if I want to. All our friends know that I’m not a morning person, so having a second cup of coffee as singing starts is a boon for me. We are, nevertheless, eager to get together with the Body ASAP!

We hear that the quarantine is having a good spiritual effect. I hope the reports are true. Also, I hope that any revival or renewal that comes from this unprecedented period of time will last longer than what followed the 9-1-1 attacks. In a matter of days, Americans got over the shock and went right back to “business as usual.” Will you pray with us that the Covid 19 pandemic will bring about a change of mind, a change of heart, a change in lifestyle, and a long-lasting turning to God for our politics and our nation?   SELAH!

 

Wayne and Ruth