3-17-20 FUMC Update

Good morning – afternoon – whenever you read this. This is the video message I posted on Facebook today. If you don’t have Facebook yet, the instructions were in yesterday’s email. Also, while I may be in the office this week, and Laquita is training our new Office Manager, WE ARE MAINTAINING the required 6 feet of distance between us. Please keep that in mind if you have to pick something up or drop anything off.

We all woke up this morning to a new day in our battle against the coronavirus. And make no mistake as we heard in the coronavirus taskforce yesterday we are battling an invisible enemy.

BUT WE CAN DO THIS! We MUST do this and the sooner we make the sacrifices NOW. The sooner we get ahead of this nasty little germ and the faster we can get back to normal! THIS IS A TEMPORARY NEW NORMAL and this too shall pass!

As you know we WILL worship together this Sunday at 10:50 a.m. right here on Facebook. So invite your friends who ALSO find themselves following the new guideleine. You heard them, right? For the next 15 days (and this will be re-evaluated), NO GROUPS larger than 10 should gather. ANY interaction with another person should be at least 6 feet apart – and if you’re sick – stay HOME and call your doctor.

AGAIN … WE CAN DO THIS! If you have elderly neighbors, call them before you go to the grocery store and offer to pick up a few things – or pick up a prescription. Social distancing is not in our nature but we can actually TALK to each other on the phone or engage on Facebook together. I think we should call this PHYSICAL distancing, not social distancing because we need social interaction!

Yesterday I talked about worry (attached) but today I want to talk about fear and this is the best scripture EVER, especially for this time … get ready to write it down … are you ready  …

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear,
but rather a spirit of power and of love 
and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

GOD did not give us a spirit of fear. We tend to muster up fear all on our own! GOD gave us a spirit of POWER, do you hear – of POWER for love and self-discipline! We will need love and self-discipline more than ever and if EVERYONE is responsible then this VIRUS … well, it too shall pass!

I couldn’t help but imagine a life without fear, worry, or anxiety.

THIS IS WHAT GOD WANTS FOR US  … freedom from anxiety but it seems the things that is so difficult today is … the unknown.  What will I do IF … How will I handle this WHEN …

If we stop to think about it, our lives are pretty much one large pile of unknowns. We take risks of one sort or another every day of our lives and most of these unknowns don’t trouble us at all. And if they do, we deal with them easily. But sometimes, we face an unknown that scares us, paralyzes us, and robs of us whatever peace of mind we might have enjoyed. Such an unknown can cause us to make terrible decisions.

Trust or turn back?

I was studying FEAR in the Bible this weekend and reading from the END of book of Numbers chapter 13:30-14:4. It’s a GREAT story of a choice the Israelites had to make after escaping from slavery in Egypt.

After they had fled across the Red Sea, God led Moses and the people to Mt. Sinai where He laid out the covenant within which God and the people would live together. This was a set of instructions for what it means to love God and to love neighbor, including the Ten Commandments. He also gave them instructions to build a movable home in which God would dwell with them.

Then God led them from Mt. Sinai to the borders of Canaan so that the Israelites might move into the land that God had promised to Abraham centuries before. Yet despite all this, the people seemed plagued and troubled by fears, doubts, and anxieties, sometimes even going so far as to wish they were still back in Egypt.

Time and again, they quickly forgot about their escape from Pharaoh and even the food God had rained down upon them from heaven (Exodus 16). Instead, they could see only the unknowns ahead and embrace only their own fears.

When the Israelites arrived at the borders of Canaan, at God’s instruction, they sent in a team of spies to check things out. Sensible enough. However, when the spies returned after forty days, they reported that though the land flowed with “milk and honey,” the Canaanites were simply too strong and as big as giants. In their fear, the people turned back, some even desiring to return to Egypt.

Despite their experiences with God, their experience of God, their faith was weak. They trusted God too little. They weren’t really sure that God would or could keep his promises. Indeed, their faith was not really placed in Yahweh, the God of Moses.

Rather, their faith was in a god of their own making, a god much too small to trust with life and death. So, led astray by this tiny god of their own conception, the people would wander aimlessly for forty years until they had died, until their children were ready to trust, fully trust, the God-Who-Is and begin their conquest of Canaan.

Trust or panic?  LET’S CHOOSE TRUST.

Watch the video on Facebook tomorrow – I’ll try to post before noon.

Don’t forget … wash your hands, pray diligently and  TRUST IN GOD.

Debbie Lyons, Pastor