March 24

So, there is this.  Sunday, we at Grace attempted to widen our screen for viewers and accidentally posted our live worship on its side, and took a good share of the day to rightly orient it.  Meanwhile a priest from England was getting lots of views.  He’d set up a little altar of sorts, with a cluttered office background.  While trying to keep the altar the focus of his video, he leaned over it to speak.  Unknowingly, he lit his sweater on fire.  The picture shows the back of his sweater flaming up behind his face.  I confess I laughed lots watching the video.  Pastors the world over tried live-streamed video Sunday and we critiqued what we did making a list of do’s and don’ts for next time.  Now most of us can also say, whatever glitches we had along the way, “at least we didn’t light ourselves on fire.” 
    So, I don’t know how you’re faring with the changes Covid-19 is bringing to you routine.  What i do know is that most of us struggle with changes to routine.  My wife and I stocked up on food to have a 14 day supply, trying to focus on proteins since we both have diabetes.  We also stocked up some less healthy snacks–which we usually try not to keep around.  If we crave a not-so-healthy snack we make ourselves travel to the grocery store to get it because it’s easier when it’s not in the house.  Now such things are in the house.   It turns out I have x-ray vision and can see the unhealthy snacks through the cupboard doors.  Not a good situation for me–though it’s better now that I recognized that I was making too many trips to the cupboard.  “Well, at least I didn’t set myself on fire.”
       I’m guessing you may have some Covid-19 lifestyle changes that are challenging for you:  housebound without March Madness basketball, working from home, kids home, working at a place that is busier and/or riskier, going to an office that is completely quiet; maybe you’re part of a peer support group that’s not meeting; maybe you worry because you or loved ones work on the front-lines of people-care (medicine, police, groceries, prescriptions); maybe you’re feeling stuck in a setting that is on lock-down or in a quarantine of sorts; maybe you’ve had non-essential surgery postponed.  My Mom was scheduled for shoulder surgery in mid-April to repair three tears in the tendons.  I understand it is safe not to have the surgery now; but, I thought, “I wonder how many tears would make it an essential surgery?”  Right now life is more challenging for all of us in a way that I expect it hasn’t been since WWII.
     This past Sunday morning, as Sharon accompanied Trisha on flute and Jack as vocalist, I knew we got one thing right.  As soon as I heard the first song, I knew God had guided us.   “You Are Mine” written by David Haas, God’s Spirit burned in my heart and moistened my eyes, as Jack sang.
“I will come to you in the silence, 
I will lift you from all your fear.  
You will hear my voice, 
I claim you as my choice, 
be still and know I am here.”    
scroll down to sermons and click on the coffee cup and Bible or
Click HERE  to hear “You Are Mine” (song begins at the 2:00 minute mark).
   Everyday be patient with yourself and others.  If it’s a challenging day, remember “it’s a good day if you don’t start yourself on fire.”
God’s blessings and prayers for health,
Pastor Roger