1190 Woodson Road
Lowesville, VA 22967
March 22, 2020
Who would have ever imagined that a time would come when the “Christian” thing to do would be stay home from church? With medical experts telling us that the Covid-19 virus has become a global pandemic, the public has been urged (or in some cases, required) to stay home to prevent the spread of the disease. For this reason, our deacons have decided to suspend church services through the end of March. By that time, perhaps the virus will have run its course and it will be safe to gather in large groups again. I think this action of the deacons is not only wise, but loving. We know that people over 65 with pre-existing health issues are most at risk—and that describes a rather large number of our membership. We also know that younger, healthy persons can “carry” the virus even though they may feel fine. The last thing we want to do is accidentally infect one of our friends with a disease they can’t fight off. So, the most loving thing we can do is stay home from church—and other gathering places, of course.
So, in the mean time we get to practice one of the least talked-about fruits of the Spirit—Patience! (Galatians 5:22). Perhaps you can identify with the young mother, frazzled by the multiple demands on her time, who prayed, “Lord, give me patience—and please hurry!” Patience is something we value most in others; for our part, we would prefer not to need it! The old English word for patience, used in the King James Version of the Bible, is “longsuffering.” Suffering, whether long or short, is something we would choose to avoid!
But patience is a virtue. To avoid becoming anxious during this period of time or restricted travel and social isolation, here are a few suggestions:
1) Focus on the reason we are staying put rather than on the inconvenience and hardship inflicted by it. Remember we are trying to limit the suffering of others (and perhaps ourselves!) by practicing social love.
2) Use the phone to check on people around you. Keep in contact with people in the church.
3) Decide to make the time at home beneficial. Most of us have dozens of things we have put off until we could “get around to it.” Well, this is the “around to it.” Make the time productive and you will feel less anxious and more energetic! But, don’t overdo it (see #5 below).
4) Write letters and notes. Remember letters? Remember how good it was to get an actual hand-written letter from someone we cared about? Most of us have people in our past who were a great influence on us and many of us have never told them. This would be a good time.
5) Treat this time as an extended Sabbath. The Good Lord knew that human beings needed rest and diversion from our labors when He instituted a weekly day of rest. In the Gospels, we see that Jesus not only observed the Sabbath, but He also occasionally withdrew from the crowds to replenish His own physical and spiritual stamina. Use this time for rest and re-creation.
6) Be creative. Read a good book—I suggest THE Good Book!
One final word: Don’t get used to staying home! The purpose of social isolation is to limit disease, not to create hermits! This time will end and when it does, “what a day of rejoicing that will be!”
Until we gather again,
Your Interim Pastor,