What Do I Do For Now?
March 25, 2020, 10:25 PM

Dear friends,

I found an article on the internet about how we as Christians can be creative in this time of social isolation. I wanted to share parts of it with you.  I hope it is helpful.  Know you are not alone.  You are surrounded by the extravagant love of God.

Pastor Kathy

Take the enforced quarantine as an opportunity for spiritual solitude.

  • Now is the time to pray.
  • Now is the time to sit in silence and meditate.
  • Now is the time to reflect on the nature of Jesus’ identification with the sick, the vulnerable and the sinful.
  • Lent is in some way the best time of year to practice spiritual solitude as an individual or a family.

Do not waste this solitude. Use it for spiritual things you always wanted to do but never felt you had the time. There can be no hospitality toward God without first a silent, meditative, prayerful invitation toward God. You now have the time for it.

Check in on your vulnerable neighbors.

In the best of times, James advises the average Christian to be sensitive to the needs of homeless and loveless. Prior to this, Jesus directed us to care for the widows and orphans the most vulnerable in his society. If these are biblical imperatives that should dictate how we spend our day-in-day-out lives, how much more should they be how we live our lives in a pandemic?

There are vulnerable people around you who may have been forgotten, ignored, or overlooked. In this time when people are fighting over toilet paper and Lysol, these are people who cannot fend for themselves. Hospitality in a world of COVID-19 looks like thinking of them when no one else does.

Share your extra toilet paper.

The church was, from the beginning, a community that made sure no one around them lacked basic necessities. They resisted the fear of scarcity and embraced the theological truth that their God can supply all their needs. This is God’s world of abundance, even in a time of scarcity.

Send prayers via text to people affected by COVID-19.

Some of you may feel that you cannot help your neighbors with your resources, but this does not mean you cannot be an encouragement to people who are living in fear. You can send text messages to people who are affected by the virus, whether they have it or not. You can send encouraging prayers via text to people cloistered in their homes living in fear. You can send prayers of healing for people who get sick. Just because you do not have financial or material resources does not mean God cannot use your faithful witness. There is no better time than this to reach out to your neighbors and simply let them know you are praying for them.

Think creatively about helping people going through financial hardship.

The shutdown over the COVID-19 virus will have long-term financial implications. The people impacted are not just stockbrokers. But they are retirees who have their money in stocks. They are people who work wage-labor jobs whose companies are shutting down. They are small-business owners who are losing massive amounts of business.

This shutdown is an opportunity for Christians to think creatively about helping people financially. Many of us are uncomfortable giving money directly to people, but there are other things we can do. We can buy people gift cards from local small businesses. This both helps people who are struggling financially and helps local businesses recover or stay afloat. Aside from gift cards, we can go to these small businesses with their skeleton crews and purchase from them. Whether it’s books to pass the time or the last toilet paper package on the shelf, these can be purchased from local businesses that will help stimulate the local economy. In the end, I think the current shutdown is an opportunity to think creatively about our spending habits.

In a world turned on its head, the church has an opportunity to provide an equilibrium. We can wisely follow the direction of our CDC experts and socially distance ourselves. However, social distancing does not mean we cannot live out the radical Christian ethic of hospitality. Wisdom, creativity, compassion, and fearlessness are all aspects of Christian hospitality that we can live out in the midst of a too small, too intertwined, too vulnerable world.



Comments

04-04-2020 at 9:43 AM
Kathy P
This is a great list Kathy. Our daughter is going to use some of her stimulus $$ to help people, food pantries, charities, etc. That made me proud!!
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