March 17, 2020
Pastor Matt gave an incredible sermon on Psalm 46 this past weekend as it relates to our current situation with Covid-19 (LINK TO SERMON). This passage of Scripture inspired the name REFUGE as our Sunday Morning Junior High gathering, which we have enjoyed together this past year and WILL again soon.
This passage states clearly that God is our place of REFUGE. Not a building. Not a worship service. Not a Book. But God, whose nature is Spirit, is our REFUGE. My favorite definition of “spirit” is unbodily personal power. You cannot see God, but you can experience God’s personal power. Just as you cannot see the wind, but you can see the affects of the wind, so we can see the affects of the Holy Spirit in our lives. My 3 year old daughter asked me just yesterday as I was driving them to their daycare, “Daddy, where is God?” My response came straight from Psalm 46 (and Pastor Matt’s sermon), “God is with us. You cannot see God, but Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit who will always be with us. God lives with you, in your heart.” I’m not sure the last part of God living inside her heart was helpful to her or more confusing, but she smiled and said, “Okay daddy.”
We certainly can experience God’s power when we gather together in a building, when we are together for worship, and when we together study the Bible, but we can and must learn how to relationally connect with God as individuals. You are not alone in this and we, your church, are here to help you.
Experiencing God’s personal power requires us to be still. To slow down. To pause. To rest from our own agendas and consider God’s presence, God’s voice, God’s agenda to restore ALL of creation under the proper rule and reign of his Kingdom. The coronavirus has definitely forced us to be still. We can certainly be frustrated and disappointed as our plans and daily routines are changing dramatically. But consider the benefits of this time…
- To be still.
- To better connect with siblings and parents.
- To have leisure time to read, write, paint, exercise or garden. I hope you get bored of binge watching your favorite Netflix, Twitch or Youtube shows and discover a fun new hobby!
- To no longer say to God, “I’m too busy for prayer and bible study.”
My prayer for you during this time is that you find REFUGE in God, whose Holy Spirit is with you. God wants to offer you wisdom and guidance to become more patient, generous and gracious towards others, less anxious and more hopeful for better days ahead. Take advantage of this time for investing in your relationship with God and receiving all the benefits God wants to give you. As Pastor Matt shared in his sermon, with all respect to those negatively affected by this virus, we can consider this opportunity to slow down as a gift.
We are here for you,
1 God is our REFUGE and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.