Hi everyone. Rob here.
If you’re anything like me your life is changing multiple times a day right now. In the last 24 hours I’ve had two speaking engagements cancelled and a job interview postponed indefinitely. The day before that saw my children’s sport called off for the season. There is no church to go to on Sunday. On top of that 3 of us have colds and I’ve never been as vigilant about where I go, what I touch and how clean my hands are. There are also questions like, when will school get called off? How long can my wife keep up her in-home child care? Do we have enough money to get through this if income totally dries up? I know that I’m not alone with those questions. But I am also convinced that God is in the midst of this and there is an invitation to turn our gaze towards him. He is our Master, Covid-19 is not. My newsfeed is not. Jesus, catch our hearts.
What is happening right now is actually very good for many of us. Before Covid-19 the world was running at a frenetic pace. Most people were working too hard, spending too much time on their phones, running from one engagement to another and hustling their way through life. Now there’s hardly anywhere to go. It’s as if we’ve all been given the opportunity to have a Sabbath. Many are choosing to panic, but as people who belong to Christ we have been given different orders.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
The invitation is to dwell closely with Christ. It is to commune with him so that his peace, his joy and his gentleness come upon us. It is to let go of fear and anxiety and exchange it for faith and hope. I love how the New Living Translation puts verses 6-7.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
We experience God when we give ourselves completely over to God, holding nothing back for ourselves. His resources are far greater than ours, his timing is better than ours and his entire nature is love so why wouldn’t we trust him in this hour? The invitation of Sabbath is to hand over the things of this world to Christ who has overcome the world. It is to join God in his rest and only take up what he gives us.
Here are some practical invitations that you may want to take up.
- Do church the way the early church did. Invite a few healthy people to your home. Break bread together. Read Scripture together. Worship together.
- Go outside as often as you can. Find quiet spots to soak in beauty, fresh air and sunlight. Those are all good weapons against viruses too.
- Use the phone. Check up on friends and neighbours.
- If you have the resources, share with those who don’t. Make meals, share your produce, give them a roll of toilet paper!
- Start and finish the day with prayer, scripture and worship. Give God as much attention as you can. He deserves more attention than a virus does.
Grace and peace everyone.