Practicing our faith through the times of the Coronavirus

Each day our Pastor will post a message to keep us connected while the Church is closed.

Day 57, May 9, 2020

The bible is filled with drama, with miraculous events, and with amazing signs and wonders. This is all good news. And yet if we are not careful, the drama, the miraculous events, and the amazing signs and wonders can overshadow the revelation of God that accompanies these astounding divine interventions.

• Moses was tending the sheep out in the desert…With a stunning flash a bush in that dry desert burst into flames…flames that did not consume the bush. It’s a miracle! Moses is drawn to the miracle. The miracle gets Moses’ attention…and ours. But don’t let the miracle of the burning bush overshadow the revelation of God, who says to Moses, “I have seen the misery of my people. I have heard their cries. I am concerned about their suffering. I have come down to help.”
• Standing on the mountain, full of fear, chased by the wicked Queen Jezebel, waiting for God to appear, the prophet Elijah witnessed a miracle…a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the very rocks surrounding him. After the wind there was more drama…an earthquake. After the earthquake there was even more drama…a fire. The wind, the earthquake, the fire…those dramatic events threaten to overshadow the revelation of God. On that day the revelation of God came in a whisper, in a still small voice.
• You do not get more dramatic than the Sunday school favorite, the story of the Fiery Furnace. Our heroes Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are thrown into the blazing flames of fire. It is tempting to remember only the outcome of that dramatic event as not a hair on their heads was singed. But do not let their remarkable rescue cause you to forget the words of faith they shared as they entered the fire. “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand.” Do not let the flames overshadow the faith of these men of God, their faith that was in the living God.
• Jesus healed a man who had leprosy. Jesus healed the man immediately. The leprosy left the man. Amazingly and miraculously the man was made clean, all of which understandably might overshadow the words that tell us Jesus was filled with compassion when he saw the leper, the words of Jesus telling the leper he was willing to make the man clean, and words that tell us Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man everyone else called unclean.
• How can a handful of fish and a few small loaves feed crowds of four to five thousand? It is a miracle. Knowing full well the hunger that can swell up inside us when we have been too long without food, the multiplication in this miracle most definitely causes the motivation of the miracle to be overshadowed. What was the motivation? Jesus had compassion on the crowd.
• Standing in the shadow of the cross, watching our dear Savior die, the sound of a hammer pounding the nails, the reality of those nails piercing his flesh, the voices of his enemies taunting him and the guards teasing him, the sight of that crown of thorns thrust mockingly upon his head, standing in the shadow of the cross, the cruel suffering Jesus endures threatens to overshadow the meaning and purpose of his death. Or maybe in the case of the cross, none of the cruelty, none of the agony, none of the rejection, none of the taunting, and none of the teasing can overshadow the great miracle, the greatest miracle, the most amazing sign and wonder in all of the bible. In the case of the cross, there is not one single thing that can overshadow the miracle that we witness on that Friday we now call Good. “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Nothing can overshadow the words Jesus spoke when Nicodemus came to Jesus in the shadows of the night. “For God so loved the world he gave his only Begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Filled with amazing stories like Joshua and Jonah, astounding stories of the Red Sea parting and the storms on the Sea of Galilee being stilled, miraculous stories of water turning to wine and bread coming down from heaven, may these marvels and miracles never overshadow the wonderful truth of God’s everlasting and eternal love that we discover when we stand in the shadow of the cross. May nothing in all creation overshadow the steadfast love of our Lord, the steadfast love of the Lord that never ceases. May nothing overshadow that love, especially not this cruel Coronavirus. In the shadow of the cross, dear friends, that is where stand. In the shadow of the cross, that is where we find our hope.

With the love of Christ,