Daily Update from Pastor David March 17, 2020
Tuesday, March 17
Update & Prayer Notes
Today the staff had a long and productive meeting to consider how we may serve you effectively while “social-distancing” keeps us physically separated.
Online Services: We will meet Friday to record our weekend service. You are encouraged to tune in with your family at 10:00 am so we may share this time in community, even while in our own homes. More details will follow as to where you can find this feed.
Seniors: We desire to partner seniors who require assistance with people who can provide care or run some errands. If you need help, call the office. If you are able to partner with a senior, let us know.
Children and Youth: Derek and Christina will be connecting through Instagram Live. Look for the “Thirty Day Challenge” with ideas for family connectivity and interaction.
Easter: Let’s not lose Easter! Lent is a period of entering into the passion of the Christ. Covid-19 has each of us suffering through the new complexity of these days, so it’s a great time to identify with Christ and his suffering for us. The weekend service will encourage us to walk with Jesus through his suffering.
At a time of world-wide crisis, people of faith find comfort in a God who is in control and compassionate toward the most marginalized among us. While the circumstances may be new to us, difficult times are not new, and we turn to our Heavenly Father for hope and strength.
1Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul.
2I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. …
7He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free, 8the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.
9The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow.
9The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow. —Psalm 146:1-3
Dr. Condoleezza Rice was National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, and a devout Christian woman. In 1963 the church her father pastored in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, killing four little girls and injuring 14 others. Because of her faith community, even as a young girls, “Condi” turned to God.
“All we could do in those days was to pray,” said Rice, “and I have to say, it was sufficient. It was sufficient to calming my parents. It was sufficient to calming me and my friends. In those days, you could start off school with prayer, and we started off every class every day with prayer.”
She was National Security Advisor in 2001 when 9/11 happened, and it shaped her life forever. Commenting recently on how the lessons learned back then prepared her for the coronavirus pandemic, she said that a crisis can either cause us to focus on ourselves or prompt us to focus on how much we need one another. While each person must individually choose to do the right thing, we must also reach out to others, and especially help the most vulnerable.
Rice finished her interview by reading aloud a prayer she had written for leaders dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. “Dear Heavenly Father,” she said, “we ask that you enter into the depths of our worries, and bring comfort, relief, and resilience to all in our country and across the world.” Rice prayed for those most vulnerable to the virus, for the first responders on the front lines of the crisis, and for the scientists working to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. And she concluded:
O Lord, we know that we are called to be faithful to you, for you are relentlessly faithful to us. And so we ask for your comfort in our lives, but also for the grace to behave toward one another as Jesus Christ calls us to do, to treat each other with kindness and respect, to be patient and calm, and to be generous in caring for and praying for those who are most in need. These things we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Pray: Celebrate in thankfulness God’s faithfulness and provision for our lives. A great antidote to fear is to praise the Lord. Reminding ourselves that there are others in more difficult circumstances than we find ourselves inspires gratitude, and moves us to pray for others. Finding someone we can help at this time moves our prayer to action.