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May 19, 2020

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Hello! Pastor Andrew with you once again to check in, to encourage, and to spur on in faith all of you brothers and sisters. I think this week is week 264 of the quarantine if my math is correct. Or at least it feels that way.

I think many of us would say this has been a season of waiting and a season of growth, and I wonder if we’ve questioned deeply what we are waiting for, and what kind of growing we’re doing. Every chance I get, I tend to share that my wife and I are waiting to meet our son! Who is now due to be held in our arms in just two weeks! Like the quarantine, it feels like this is week 264 of waiting to meet him. Ellen’s belly has been growing to make room for the growing baby in her womb, and in this quarantine, I have gained about an inch to my waist line after eating an unprecedented amount of graham crackers. It’s easier to snack when you can visit the refrigerator 457 times per day, am I right?

But really, what are we waiting for?  I want to challenge each of us today to question exactly what it is we think we’re waiting for. Are we waiting for God to change our situation? Are we waiting for things to return to normal? Are we waiting for an opportunity to express the faith we’ve grown comfortable expressing? Are we waiting for sports to return to the big screen?  Or was The Last Dance documentary enough to satiate our need for entertainment (that’s basketball right?)? Are we waiting for school to return so we can take a small break from the constant attention and needs children bring to the table? Are we waiting for God to strike down COVID-19 so we can finally live out our faith unhindered?

I admit all of these questions are a little leading and a little pointed, but my point is this: We are called as ambassadors of the Kingdom of Christ even in such a time as this. I’d go so far as to say especially in such a time as this! When the world is suffering, we are no less called to be full of mercy. We are no less called to be full of grace. We are no less called to posture ourselves and our worship as an offering to God and as a blessing to others. We are no less called to be full of wisdom that leads to humility, meekness, and gentleness. We are no less called to live sacrificially. We are no less called to love.

Sometimes these devotionals are meant to encourage and lift up, and sometimes they are meant to spur us on into living and looking more and more like the Son of God. My hope is that in this time, we might lament and sorrow over a loss of community, and at the same time rejoice that we have sacrificed something important to us in order to protect the most vulnerable not only in our congregation but in the community around us! It proclaims to the world that in any and every situation we may find ourselves in, Christ is with us, and He is working through us.

You and I are a called people, yesterday, today, and tomorrow! I am grateful for what Christ is doing through His church, and I am grateful that when we fall, He is faithful. Of course, we will not execute our call perfectly, especially when we are tested.  But in the words of Andrew Peterson, “I realize that falling down ain’t graceful, but I thank the Lord that falling’s full of grace!”

So let’s not wait to return to some ‘normal’ that may or may not have ever been healthy of God-honoring, and let’s proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ by living a life reflecting the wisdom and love Jesus so boldly proclaimed in His life and death.

I leave you with these words from Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Matthew:

“And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Christ is with us, there is no need to wait.

With peace,
Pastor Andrew

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