A great scripture for today….
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
And you thought you were the only one who appreciated Psalm 1. Turns out the Old Testament prophets read the Psalms too.
The Lord appreciates steadfastness and treasures those who remain true when everything around them is turning loose, dropping out, or wilting.
This too shall pass, Christian. Be faithful.
Pastors are running around trying to find the best way to have a worship service that will involve people but not require closeness and contact. What a job!
Some churches have dusted off the old concept of drive-in churches, popularized over a half century ago, and are getting licensed-up to be able to broadcast on an FM frequency. The posts on Facebook would indicate this may be the start of a huge trend. Stay tuned.
I’ll be preaching to an empty sanctuary at Columbus Mississippi’s First Baptist Church Sunday at 10 am. The plan right now is to drive up that morning–it’s almost 3 hours each way–do the service, and then turn right around and head home. I’ll pick up a snack at a drive-through in Starkville and eat on the drive home. My sermon is not on the pandemic that is dominating our existence these days, but something better than that.
I’ll be preaching on the Cross of Jesus. After all, it’s Easter season. Sunday is March 22 and Easter is April 12, three weeks away. We’ll have some remarks about the crisis, of course, but my job is to preach the gospel. The gospel is about the cross of Jesus, which was the ultimate game-changer. At a time when our messages need to be timely, there’s a lot said for them being timeless also.
And I have an assignment for the congregation….
I’ll be reading certain verses from the first two chapters of First Corinthians–specifically 1:18,22-25 and 2:2. Then, I’m asking everyone to live in the first three chapters of I Corinthians between now and Easter, reading them repeatedly and meditating upon their contents. The chapters are rich in meaning and have much to teach us about serving God in uncertain times.
Change: the only constant
My friend Kenny Davis of Atlanta says, “I am wondering what long-term changes will come from what we’re going through now. Remember the Tylenol Murders. That all happened in less than a week in one place – Chicago. Because of that today every package is tamper-resistant or sealed with plastic. I bet there will be changes from this that we have not thought of.” I guarantee that’s right.
And to reinforce his example–that one little threat caused forever changes–we remember the guy who was trying to bring down an airliner with a bomb in his shoe. The poor guy couldn’t get the fuse to light and he was caught and presumably is rotting away in someone’s prison somewhere. Meanwhile, ever since, untold millions of us have removed our shoes at airport screenings. Thanks a lot, pal.
Funniest line today: Actually, this is from several days ago, but it has lingered with me. As people have been stocking up on all the toilet tissue they can find, someone posted “how to determine the amount of toilet paper you will need.” Their formula: “Figure up how much paper you used in January. Multiply that number by 5. Now, take that number and divide it by 5. The answer is how much paper you will need this month.” Mathematicians among us will quickly figure out that the answer is: The same amount as you were using.