The world is in crisis mode, and (to a large degree, at least) rightly so. Yes, there is panic and people are acting in panicky ways. That's to be expected, as much as is it frustrating and sometimes can seem silly or worse. When people are in crisis mode, panic is going to happen. We all want to think we're rational beings, but we're only rational to a certain degree.
In this space about 5 minutes ago was a big long post offering some hope amid the gripping fear that's been so amplified in the last 24 hours. When I hit save, something went wrong and I lost the whole thing. So even this post has been cancelled. How ironic. I may or may not be able re-capture that lightning in a bottle, so I'll just leave you with what was probably the most important part of that post anyway: the Word of God. Amid all the fear and legitimate concern in our world right now, the one thing that has not been cancelled is the promise of God.
I got home from an extremely busy day, ready to write about "the four loves", following on the addled post from last night. Four aspects of love are captured by four different Greek words, and they're all worth considering.
But as I was relaxing for a little bit and turned on the TV for some sports highlights, I heard the news that the NBA (professional basketball in the US and Canada) was suspending its season due to a player having tested positive for coronavirus.
Now that you've got that Haddaway song in your head (you're welcome - I love the 90s too), this is a truly important question that we need to answer: what is love?
Or maybe the song in your head is Tina Turner's. It's a poignant question, really: "What's love, but a sweet- old-fashioned notion?" Sadly, our culture would pat Tina on the head and think she is the sweet old-fashioned one for thinking love could be such a thing.
Where’s the line between prudence and fear?
Given the hysterics that are happening over this past week, I’d say the line is between one and more than one packages of toilet paper.
People who are stockpiling 90+ rolls are doing so not because there’s a possibility that if you have coronavirus, you'll have to be quarantined for about 14 days. The math simply doesn't add up. That's more than six rolls a day while quarantined. That's not reasonable.
This afternoon, during our closing prayer time of the church meetings I was at yesterday and today, I prayed for everyone travelling home (we had come from all over Alberta and BC) that God would give them mercy as they travelled. My drive home would be a 4-hour trip, with much of it being on a mountain pass, in the dark. That's a day-to-day, even hour-to-hour proposition this time of year, where the roads will be fine at one point and then not too long after, they can be treacherous.
I spent today with others in my church body from Alberta and BC, talking about the work of our church. Almost 12 hours of formal meetings, then another couple hours visiting and talking about the work of the church over flights at a micro-brewery next to the hotel (well, I had a cider...celiac disease and all that...but others had some good-looking beer flights).
Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), fasting and preparing to be tempted by the devil. We're not told in Scripture what He did in that time, other than He fasted. He went without earthly sustenance, and even in reply to being tempted by bread, He said that people don't live only by bread, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
I'm becoming a bit of a political...observer. Not a pundit, not a junkie, just an interested observer. I know that the two things one isn't supposed to talk about in polite conversation are religion and politics. Well, you're going to get lots of talk about religion here, and a bit of politics too. I guess I'm just not that polite.
On Tuesdays, our church sends out an email newsletter. Each week I write a short summary of the past Sunday's theme and message. This past Sunday was the First Sunday in Lent, and we read three passages of Scripture: Genesis 3:1-21, Romans 5:12-19, and Matthew 4:1-11. While it's entirely too short (isn't everything?), here's what I shared with the congregation I serve in today's newsletter.