Distanced Socializing Devotional- 4
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. - Hebrews 11:1-3
This passage of scripture has been one of my favorites since middle school, and I find myself hanging on to it now more than ever. The future is never certain, but this juncture in history seems especially unpredictable. No one can know what the future holds in the coming days, weeks, and months, but we can have faith that everything will be ok in the end. And we can certainly have faith that no matter what happens, God is with humanity at this stressful time.
Not only do we have faith in God, but it strikes me that most of us, not being professionally trained, must have faith in science and medicine as well. Personally, I don’t know how the coronavirus behaves, I don’t know for certain that the social distancing practices we’re putting in place will make a difference, but I have faith in our public health officials, in our doctors, nurses, scientists, and laboratory techs.
We need only look to the Old Testament to find examples of God’s law for the Israelite people aligning with what we now know to be good science- the Israelites weren’t allowed to eat pork because it was “unclean” (Leviticus 11). We now know that pork is prone to specific parasites that we must heat to very high temperatures to kill; in Biblical times they didn’t have electric ovens or thermometers, so it probably really was just safer to avoid pork all together.
I would encourage everyone at this time to put your faith in God and our best science, which says that practices like social distancing (or distanced socializing as I’m calling it), hand washing, and covering coughs will help slow the spread of this disease which could especially impact the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. The sooner we stop the spread and develop treatments, the sooner we can all be together again.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Beth Graverholt
The serenity prayer is keeping me grounded during this time. I’ve been waking up and going to bed praying it and I hope it provides you the same peace:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Amen
· We will continue to worship online ONLY this Sunday. The service will be live streamed on Facebook at 11 am. You can join us at https://www.facebook.com/christumclinc. By Sunday afternoon the service will also be up on the worship tab of our website, connectionpointlnk.org, so you can watch it at any time.
· Other in-person church groups or meetings remain postponed. If you would like help organizing your group to meet online, you can email Pastor Beth at email@example.com.
· Since many of the volunteers at the food pantry at ConnectioN Point were UNL students, who have gone home, we are in desperate need of volunteers to help run OpeN Shelf. If you could volunteer to be one who helps oversee the food pantry, please call Pastor Beth at 402-413-0017. The food pantry is open 2-5 pm every weekday. We need help for Monday-Friday next week.
· Also, if you are interested in volunteering to help during the coronavirus by running errands, such as going to grocery store, the pharmacy, or the post office for church members who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, then please send us an email at ChristUMCHelps@gmail.com. Please give us your name and time availability. We will keep a list and let you know how you can help.
· Finally, don’t forget that church members are welcome to contribute a devotional to this series. If you have a devotional—or, would like to write one—please contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org.