Jesus love me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong
Marti tells me this is the first song she remembers me singing. It was before we met, and I was singing at a church she attended only because she was dating the pastor’s son. Ironically, the son was taking a bit of vacation from the Lord at the time, but that didn’t stop the Lord from using his library, his dad, and other Christians in his circle to bring her to faith and set her off on a solid track of discipleship. I always love that story because it so clearly indicates who leads us to the Lord. The Lord does, and He can use anybody and anything.
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28-29
This is the work God requires: to believe. This statement does not make sense. Work and belief are in two different realms, and Jesus puts them together here. One is the other. The people would have been scratching their heads over this one. We still are.
I came home from the local grocery store the other day with a big 20-roll package of toilet paper. I figured I’d made a score. I didn’t even question the brand; I didn’t have a choice. It was the only thing available, and after getting used to seeing these shelves empty, I felt compelled to get it. There were only a handful of packages left and we were down to two rolls at home. The only thing I was uneasy about was the unfamiliar brand. It was the store’s parent company generic brand, and I’ve been generally pretty happy with that for other products. Besides, we’re in a pandemic, I reasoned; gotta take what you can get when you can get it.
Posted in pandemic
Empathy: to step into someone else’s shoes and feel what they feel.
If you missed our BlogTalkRadio interview with Doug Stevens last night, I urge you, if your boots are on the ground anywhere, to listen to the podcast at your earliest convenience. We talked a lot about the pandemic, the divide in this country and how we as Christians can respond to the current situation. I also encourage you to go to our website and check out the excellent comments on yesterday’s Catch “The army of the Lord.”
So I published yesterday’s Catch on the local Neighborhood Watch which was starting to get rather nasty between the-government-is-keeping-us-safe people and the-government-needs-to-get-its-nose-out-of-my-business people. It was nice to see 13 positive reactions to my article, and a few thankful comments. This is just indicative of the war that is going to go on at many different levels in our society today, and how you and I as believers can represent the kingdom of God without taking sides.
We’re hearing a lot about freedom now. People are getting tired of being shut up in their homes. It’s understandable. People need to go back to work. Breadwinners aren’t able to provide for their families. And then there are people who simply want to get out and enjoy the warmer weather in parks and at beaches and recreation areas that remain closed. Those in charge have to juggle the economy and people’s safety, and it’s not just about keeping people safe as much as it is keeping them safe from each other. But that’s hard to do when you’re treading on everyone’s civil liberties fighting an unseen enemy. This is a time which is going to require a lot of patience from all of us. We aren’t even close to being over this pandemic and people are already getting very restless.
O Lord remember what has come upon us
Look down on our nation
The crown has fallen from atop our head
Woe, for we have sinned
Why forget us Lord forever
Why forsake us so long
Turn us to you, and we shall be restored
And renewed as of old
Or have you rejected us?
– from the song “Death in the City” by John Fischer
The last four lines of this song are taken from the last three verses of Lamentations in the Bible. The book is a collection of acrostic poems that express the sorrow and the suffering of the nation of Israel after Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were carried off into exile by the Babylonians. It is a prophetic lesson in suffering and how to manage it that was spelled out in yesterday’s Catch from Lamentations 3. Here it is again in case you missed it.