DAY 92: Thursday 18 June
Good morning everyone
As we start into week 14 of lockdown emails, I wonder if the past 13 weeks has taught us anything we previously didn’t know, or perhaps hadn’t recognised?
Here’s a list of 10 things that we’ve learned over the past 3 months –
· Afternoon tea and cake every day, does not make you fat
· Life without Eastenders is really quite pleasant
· Spaghetti hoops on toast is not just for kids
· Baking ingredients well past their best before date make very tasty cakes and biscuits
· One tank of fuel can actually last more than 2 months
· Zoom is not just something you adjust on a camera lens
· Birds are extremely noisy at 4:30am
· It seems we have more friends than enemies
· I’m not as old as many of the people who walk up and down our road
· After 92 emails and almost 80,000 words there doesn’t seem to be much hope of shutting me up any time soon
I mentioned Zoom and other than the photography and projection feature, I’d not previously heard of it as a social media video tool. But now the hundreds of millions of downloads worldwide have made Eric Yuan become another Chinese billionaire as companies worldwide have transferred their office meetings to online virtual meetings. Many churches and mission organisations have also been using Zoom for their virtual meetings and gatherings. We have not (yet) embraced this technology for the Chapel simply because I don’t know enough about using it safely.
What else have we discovered over the past 14 weeks? Certainly, we’ve discovered more about ourselves, our physical fitness, our personality, our level of contentment, our spiritual condition. For generations, Christian leaders and speakers have encouraged believers to examine their lives and their motives. Through these weeks of lockdown, God has given us the opportunity not only to catch up the gardening, the unfinished DIY and other tasks that we have been putting off for too long, but we’ve also been given opportunity to examine ourselves – our thoughts, our behaviour, our motives and our faith.
Let’s not let this period of ‘sabbatical’ be wasted, but as we come out of lockdown, may we be spiritually stronger and fitter, and more willing and useful in the service of the Kingdom.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he was addressing a troubled group of believers who didn’t get on with each other so there were divisions and arguments between them.
Sometime after sending his first letter, Paul received reports that things had not improved in Corinth and the believers there seemed to have taken little notice of his first letter, so he had to write a second letter in stronger terms to point them in the right direction.
The final chapter of that second letter is headed ‘Final Warnings’ and contains these words –
2 Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
Shortly after those words, Paul ends his letter with –
11 - Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Maybe over the past weeks we’ve discovered that someone for whom we previously had little time or who just ‘got under our skin’ is actually a very kind and generous person. It’s just that we hadn’t realised it, so now would be a good time to makes things right - restore relations and rediscover friendship.
If we have discovered over the past 3 months things about ourselves that we don’t like and we know is against God’s will for us, then just come clean with the Lord, confess it to Him and determine to change (repent) with His powerful help.
Thanks to Linda Lord for the following poem -
I met God in the morning when my day was at its best,
and His Presence came like sunshine, like a glory in my breast.
All day long the Presence lingered, all day long He stayed with me,
and we sailed in perfect calmness o’er a very troubled sea.
Other ships were blown and battered, other ships were sore distressed,
but the winds that seemed to drive them brought to me a peace and rest.
Then I thought of other mornings, with a keen remorse of mind,
when I soon had loosed the moorings, with the Presence left behind.
I think I know the secret, learned from many a troubled way,
I must seek Him in the morning if I want Him through the day.
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