Devotional – Thursday, May 7, 2020

Interconnectedness

Once upon a time I was a high school biology teacher. Although I changed career paths long ago…I never lost my love of science, and am particularly fascinated by the wondrous ecosystems of the earth and the intricate natural balance required to sustain life. Recently, I watched a documentary film entitled H2O: The Molecule That Made Us. One of the episodes beautifully illustrated how trees make their own rain (a river in the sky), driving moisture cycles and weather; with broader impacts on habitat, biodiversity, and even global climate. It is truly miraculous how God’s world works.

God has created a universe that is based upon interdependency. That “natural law” goes beyond how humans relate to nature, to include human interconnectedness as well. We need each other! And I mean we all need all of us! This pandemic has brought this fact into clear focus. We depend upon others to follow safety guidelines, and for support in times of need. We depend upon the specific talents of our front-line workers during this crisis…but similarly we need the talents, passion and love of those with one degree of separation, who have given freely through volunteerism, artistry, and compassion. The virus fight has made us understand that none of us will be truly safe, until we’re all safe; that we’re all in this together!

Perhaps God is pulling us away from the true social isolation we were engaged in before we heard of COVID-19. Perhaps, He wants us to change our focus from the small arena of personal concerns, self-gratifications, tight-knit social circles and like-minded allegiances that so occupied our attention…rather to focus instead, on something bigger. Perhaps He wants to remind us how much we need Him and each other!

One of the blessings I have received, as a result of this pandemic and our need for remote worship, has been the participation of many of our fellow congregants in our online services and devotions. I love seeing a variety of familiar faces, relaxed in their home settings. Through this, and particularly through your devotional messages, I feel like I have come to know some of you a little better. I have come to appreciate you in ways I have been unable to before. I appreciate your talents, I appreciate your effort, and I appreciate your agape spirit!

This world had some very big problems before COVID-19. It is facing a medical emergency and uncertainty right now, with an undefined global economic crisis looming on the horizon. The church’s role in the world is more important now than ever. We have an opportunity to serve a hurting world and bring God’s message of hope to those in fear and darkness. This is why the church exists! In the book The Purpose Driven Church, author Rick Warren says God’s purposes for the church are worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission; and, that they are derived from the Great Commandment:

“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.’ The second resembles it: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets also.” Matthew 22:37-40

and the Great Commission:

“Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” Matthew 28:19-20

Together, let us go forth and help, care, teach, and love others like never before. Let us be the church! I pray you will stay well and that our church will grow stronger in its ministry to others. I can’t wait to see you again!

Dear God,

Redirect our focus to Your broader purposes. Fill us with faith, courage and determination to be Your church on earth. May we be effective in bringing help to those in need, in demonstrating Your love, and in spreading the good news of Your hope and power to a world that needs to hear Your message.

Amen.

Offered by Judy Lester

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