In reading through Psalm 26 this morning, I stopped at verse 8 where David wrote:
O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells.
My thought was, “Where is Your house today and where does Your glory dwell?”. I went to Ephesians 2:19-22 and read,
“…but you are fellow citizens with the saints (God’s people), and are [members] of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the [chief] Cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together, and it continues [to increase] growing into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, set apart, and sacred to the presence of the Lord]. In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Before I move on to the practical implications of today’s situation, I want to share one more passage from Ephesians 3:7-10 as Paul writes,
To me, [though I am] the very least of all the saints (God’s people), this grace [which is undeserved] was graciously given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the good news of the incomprehensible riches of Christ [that spiritual wealth which no one can fully understand], and to make plain [to everyone] the plan of the mystery [regarding the uniting of believing Jews and Gentiles into one body] which [until now] was kept through the ages in [the mind of] God who created all things. So now through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God [in all its countless aspects] might now be made known [revealing the mystery] to the [angelic] rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
I could spend a long time delving into all the things these passages say about us, Christ’s Body here on earth. I’m going to leave it with you to meditate on and be encouraged by God’s plan for us, particularly at this time in our own history. I’d like to turn to some thoughts on how we can position ourselves to be equipped for service where we are.
First, how are you? How are you coping with your change of pace and routine, the greater reason for the drastic measures, the disappointment in cancellation of anticipated events and activities? If we are going to be who God is calling us to be in this time, we must be proactive in keeping our hearts and minds focused.
- Remember God’s sovereignty and His power and His position. He knew about this time, He is able to work in it, and He is a Redeemer. I think back to Joseph, when he was in Egypt, assuring his brothers that they had meant evil against him but God meant it for good. (Gen. 50).
- Spend time focusing on His promises so that you do not experience fear and anxiety. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that fear does not come from God because He has given us a Spirit of love and sound judgment and personal discipline that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control. Do a search of God’s promises, write them out, post them around your house.
- Be in conversation with others and remind one another of the things that are true in this time. Since we are not able to meet together in person, we must find ways to continue to assemble with one another and to encourage one another.
- Care for yourself. Eat well, rest well, exercise well. God has made us humans, and we have physical as well as spiritual needs. Respect your humanity.
- Practice gratitude. Go for walks. Notice God’s beauty.
Second, how’s your hospitality coming? I know that we are socially distancing ourselves from one another; however, if you are in your home with one or more persons, we’re being challenged in new ways to extend hospitality to our husbands, wives, children, or siblings.
- Have lots of conversations to work out this new demand for different schedules, for work that must be done, for schoolwork, and boundaries. How can you love one another well in ultra-close proximity? Allow God the opportunity to refine us at this point.
- Do special things. We are confined in our homes in such a way that each day can look the same. Out-of-home activities are cancelled. What do we have to look forward to? Cook together, have a picnic, bring in flowers from your yard, play games, work puzzles or learn new skills together. Be sure to schedule fun things even as the necessary things get done.
- If you are in your home alone, use your time to meditate, pray, and reach out to others. Be creative in the use of technology to stay in touch with friends and family. Let others know when you have physical needs or just need to hear a kind voice.
Third, how can you reach out to others outside your home to meet their needs?
- Support medical caregivers. Pray for them. Minister to their families with food, cards, calls. I’ve loved seeing the masks that are being made by many of you to help keep our medical personnel safer.
- Reach out to your neighbors. I loved seeing the picture of Moriah reading to her neighborhood children from her turquoise table as they all sat on blankets, appropriately socially distanced.
- Here’s an article at https://www.crossway.org/articles/practice-hospitality-especially-during-covid-19 with more ideas from Rosaria Butterfield. Enjoy!
Pray that God’s people will glorify Him by completing the work that He has given us to do. (John 17:4).
What is God calling you to do today?