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COVID-19 has pierced the notion many of us have of independence and self-sufficiency. As our patterns have changed over the last fortnight many of us have begun to worry. For we have been cut off from others, and gaps have formed in food and other supply chains. Suddenly what Jesus tells his disciples about worrying about life comes a little closer to home:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:22-26)
Jesus tells us to put our confidence in God who loves and richly provides. If God loves and provides for the animals he has made, how much more his people? Jesus says do not worry because God will provide our needs, and he has our lives in his hands. Furthermore, in Jesus God has provided our greatest need, laying down his life for ours.
At the same time, God continually tells those who have, to help those who are in need.
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:15-16)
COVID-19 has caused higher isolation, unemployment and anxiety. Therefore, staying in touch and supporting those in need has become both more important and more difficult. But we trust God will provide for us, and he will strengthen us to help one another.
Please do reach out to one another, your Bible study leader, the wardens, Val or myself in these testing times. And be reassured that your life is precious to God.
– SAM PURSELL
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
(Psalm 91:1-6 NIV)
Lord Most High, you are our refuge and fortress, our protector in times of trouble. You have healed us from sin and death through Jesus Christ, and now we trust you in a time of looming pestilence and plague. We pray that you would stop its spread, keep us safe and heal the sick. But whatever your will for us in this life may we always find refuge in your faithfulness.
We are sorry for the times when we fail to trust you and love you as we ought. We are sorry for our selfishness when others are in need. Please forgive our sins.
Increase our neighbourliness, so that we would uphold one another in practical service, prayer, friendship and with encouragement through the word.
We ask that you would strengthen us all; particularly the lonely, the sick, the bereaved, and the anxious.
We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
– SAM PURSELL