As I write this, the Surgeon General of the U.S. has just issued a rather stern warning that “This week is going to get bad.” In one week’s time we’ve gone from 4,000 to 39,000 confirmed cases. So it behooves us all to use wisdom, prudence and faith at a time like this.
With that in mind, we’re making some changes to our routines at Mosaic this week. We are canceling all group meetings of any kind and trying to move as many of them to on-line formats as possible. We’ll be doing that through a combination of Zoom, Google Chat and Microsoft Team meetings. (You will be receiving specific instructions on how to conference-in to those meetings for an interactive experience.) This will, unfortunately, only be available to those with computers or smart phones.
So what is an appropriate response for all of us spiritually to this crisis?
Well, I think it is safe to say that God wants this…and every crisis…to move us closer to Him. Already some of you have had your work hours cut or been laid off. Many more will experience the same in the days ahead. Many of us are working from home or self-quarantining.
All this means that our normal routines have been radically changed for the immediate foreseeable future.
That presents all of us with some new opportunities. God allowed this pandemic to happen during the Lenten season in the church calendar. As we’ve talked at Mosaic before, Lent is a great time to enter deeper or even for the first time into the spiritual practices that help us get closer to God’s heart. This Lenten season is like no other our world has ever experiences.
May I suggest that we all use the additional time at home and with family to engage in some of the following spiritual practices that will really help us draw near to God…so that He may draw even nearer to us? Rather than just spend more time watching mindless TV, let’s…
- Develop a new routine of Bible reading both morning and evening.
- Up our prayer encounters with God by taking a few minutes several times a day to stop and pray.
- Start a prayer journal where you record the requests others give you when you have an opportunity to ask them, “How can I be praying for you during this difficult time?”
- Join our new nightly on-line Mosaic prayer gathering. Hopefully starting TOMORROW evening, we will be hosting an on-line prayer group for anyone who would like to pray with a group or just listen in. We will start at 7:00 p.m. and run for approximately an hour, depending on how many are on and the leading of the Spirit. This will be our format every evening this week, if possible. I’ll send a link tomorrow for those who may want to join.
- Practice the discipline of Set aside more money to give to those around you in need during this time. You can certainly give that directly to people you know or, if you want to do it anonymously, you can give through Mosaic or to one of the good ministries in our city. For giving through Mosaic, just go to the on-line giving option on our MosaicSpokane.com web site and find the “Give” button on the top or bottom of the page.
- Experience the spiritual practice of frugality: Since we can’t eat out as much or go out to movies and other entertainment, why not ask God to show you how little you can life on under His care?
- Make fellowship a priority by every day giving some believer you know a call, find out how they are doing and pray with them over the phone.
Your Pastoral Staff will also be calling you personally this week (or less, if you requested it) to check in, answer any questions and pray with you.
If you are looking for an interesting short article on how other believers in other times have handled similar crisis, you might want to read this article about Martin Luther: http://blog.faithandfreedom.us/2020/03/martin-luther-how-to-respond-to-deadly.html
Keep resting in His arms,
John—for your Pastors