STAYING CONNECTED IN A TIME OF ISOLATION, Day 66

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 66, May 18, 2020
“Have you seen Jesus?”

One of the highlights of working with youth was the time spent at numerous camps and retreats. Every few months we would set off for the mountains or the ocean. The days would be filled with games, hiking, and competitions. As the day drew to a close, we would gather around a campfire. Wrapped in our jackets the guitars would come out and we would sing songs of faith. Something about the setting, surrounded by the amazing wonder of God’s creation made one particular song stand out.

“Have you seen Jesus, my Lord?”

Invited by the gentle strums of the guitar and sweet voices lifted into the night air, the song would ask us to reflect on whether we had seen Jesus.

• Have you ever looked at sunset with the sky mellowing red, and the clouds suspended like feathers? Then I say, my friend, you’ve seen Jesus my Lord.

• Have you ever stood at the ocean with the white foam at your feet, felt the endless thundering motion? Then I say, my friend, you’ve seen Jesus my Lord.

Have you seen Jesus? Have you seen Jesus in the beauty of the sunset? Have you seen Jesus in the white foam of the thundering ocean? Have you seen Jesus in the lingering tail of a shooting star? Have you seen Jesus as the wind gently rustles the leaves of a tree and the grasses of a field? Have you seen Jesus in God’s majestic and marvelous creation, a creation that fills our hearts with wonder and awe?

From an early age I have seen Jesus in vivid displays of God’s grandeur. It has taken me longer to realize we can also see Jesus when life is not beautiful. That thought has been on my mind as we go through this Coronavirus Crisis. Thankfully there have been near daily reminders of God’s presence, hopeful sunrises and peaceful sunsets, walks near the water to calm the soul, spring bursting forth in ways that are bright and breathtaking. Thankfully, those daily reminders are with us.

But what has accompanied the Coronavirus is truly a crisis. Life has been disrupted. We have been separated from one another. Loneliness and depression are real by-products of this extended time of isolation. And the numbers are staggering of those who are sick and those who have died. That question that was so welcome as we would sing with our youth group at the end of days filled with God’s goodness and grace becomes a more difficult question in the midst of a crisis. “Have you seen Jesus?”

Have you seen Jesus? In the midst of life’s many crises, have you seen Jesus? Apparently, the answer to that question is yes. Your testimonies of how Jesus has been with you when the bottom falls out are not only amazing, they are inspiring. You, all of you, have helped this one pastor learn that when God said he would never leave us nor forsake us, he meant it. You have helped this one pastor learn that when Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” he meant it. You have helped this one pastor learn that when the waves of life threaten to capsize the boat, Jesus is there to calm the storm, saying “Do not be afraid. Take heart, It is I.” You have helped this one pastor learn that when you were slumped over in a heap of heartache, weeping buckets of tears that seemed to have no end, Jesus was there, alive, risen from the dead, calling your name, and holding your hand as you found the strength to walk through that garden of grief.

So, it would not surprise me at all to hear you say that in this most recent crisis, this Coronavirus Crisis, that you have seen Jesus. Thanks to your inspiring example of faith in the midst of these troubled times, you have helped this one pastor to see Jesus even during this Coronavirus Crisis. You have helped me see Jesus even in a time of great sadness and loss. Surprisingly, even in this time of great sadness and loss, there have been some wonderful and joyful appearances of Jesus. Our children have seen Jesus. Knowing that our children have seen Jesus during the Coronavirus Crisis has lifted my spirit. Seeing pictures of our children as they see Jesus has brought the biggest smile to my face and the warmest and fuzziest feeling to my heart.

Have you seen Jesus with our children? The prelude that was posted with our bulletin yesterday had pictures of our children with what is called “Flat Jesus.” Flat Jesus is just a cut-out picture of Jesus. But this flat Jesus was captured in the sweetest frames with the sweetest faces of the sweetest kids you could ever want to know. Have you seen Jesus? I hope you have seen Jesus during this Coronavirus Crisis. And I want to offer again today a chance to see Jesus…with our children. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaCcktfc5tM&feature=youtu.be to see the prelude. See Jesus. See Jesus with his children. Maybe it will serve to remind you that you are a child of God, that we are all children of God, and that Jesus loves the little children…all of us…all of God’s little children.

I would not do justice to, “Have you seen Jesus” if I did not include the final two verses of the song. Those final two verses go a long way to helping us see the full picture of our precious Lord Jesus.”

• Have you ever looked at the cross, with a man hanging in pain, and the look of love in his eyes? Then I say, my friend, you’ve seen Jesus my Lord

• Have you ever stood in the family with the Lord there in your midst, seen the face of Christ on each other? Then I say, my friend, you’ve seen Jesus my Lord.

I’ve seen Jesus in the cross and I’ve seen Jesus in you, my brothers and sisters in faith. I hope and pray that you also have seen Jesus. (Have you seen Jesus my Lord, by John Fischer)

With the love of Christ,
Wayne