Here we go … again. Another lock-down looming. Did we not just get off this merry-go-round?
No doubt, this all feels too familiar and is reminiscent of a recent nightmare.
I hear you. We all just want this pandemic to go away and end.
In the midst of this nightmare, we all need some good news. Let me share some with you.
When COVID first hit our community here in Lindsay, our church began to give. We raised money to purchase food items from local stores and gave it to those in need.
We also purchased Tim Horton gift cards for every employee at the local Food Basics and for the staff at the Radiology department at the Ross Memorial Hospital just to say ‘Thanks’ to those who were serving our community.
Once the colder weather hit, our church again started raising money to purchase winter clothing items for the needy in our community. Purchasing brand new snow suits from Carter’s and winter coats and boots from Whites of Lindsay, our church purchased and donated over 200 clothing items to be given away!
This means that during the COVID crisis, close to $22,000 was given back to our local community in 2020.
One of the things that I am often reminded of in scripture is that God seems to always be up to something and is usually in the middle of earthly affairs. Although we may not always recognize and discern what He is up too, one thing that we can be certain of is this: He is always on the move.
For our church, in the midst of a pandemic, God was moving through our congregation. I need to say a big thank you to those who attend Calvary and those who connected with us via technology who gave. You are proof that God still moves in the midst of troubling times and authorial decrees.
I am reminded of this very thing when I read the Christmas story. Albeit a lock-down is different from a census, but the points is that God is able to orchestrate the miraculous through the actions of earthly rulers.
We often take it for granted, but we are told that because of the actions of the Roman rulers, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Luke says that a registration took place during the days of Quirinius (Luke 2:2).
Was a census something that people eagerly desired? Absolutely not. A census brought about major inconveniences to the regular routine and rhythm of life, not to mention the added cost in travel and paying tax. Furthermore, was any of this comfortable for pregnant Mary who had to travel while carrying full-term? This was probably not in her family plans nor was the stable delivery room a first choice for her first-born child.
However, in the midst of an unpopular and costly census, God was moving in a big way. His miraculous coming to earth and dwelling with humanity took place in the midst of a governmental decree.
What does this mean for you and me? Simply this: God is still in control.
Call me simple, but I am still convinced that God still knows what He’s doing. I also still believe that He journeys with us through all of our affairs in life. I also have faith to believe that He will bring about something new and miraculous in the middle of it all.
That’s what I am banking on heading into 2021 and another twenty-eight day lock-down.
Let me end with this. Whether you are part of a faith community or not, I encourage you to be light wherever there is darkness.
It is sometimes easier to give into the darkness and yield to its power. Trust me, I know. The path to the darkside is always a constant struggle, especially when you are trying to face it head on. George Lucas understood it all too well. Star Wars is not just a battle in the cosmos. We face real struggles here.
To help battle the dreariness around you, why not practice some self-giving actions. Whether it is being kind and complimentary to those around you, or checking in with someone you have not seen or heard from in a while, we can all find simple ways to impact others in a positive way.
Finally, and most importantly, may our self-giving ways always be done in love. Our church responded immediately to COVID by giving to those in need. We did this because we believe that is how God rolls. We will continue to do so, and are even looking for new ways to better serve our community in 2021. We believe that this is what God is leading us to do and embody to our community.
We believe that this is the way of Jesus. My prayer is that is becomes your way too.
As we round off 2020 and head into 2021, I desire that God Almighty will bless you abundantly in the days ahead; may He keep you from stumbling in every step that you take; may His glorious face and presence shower you with love; and may His full favour bring wholeness to your mind, body and soul.