No St Patrick! Word on the Week 14th March 2020.
No St Patrick? Just when we needed him. If he got rid of the snakes in Ireland perhaps he could do a similar job on the Coronavirus when he shows up next week. Except the 17th March, his day, has been cancelled – we are on our own!
Plagues come and plagues go. They create havoc in the passing. Things that business considered important take a back seat. There is a partial solution of the traffic congestion as many work from home. Graveyards fill up as the elderly and vulnerable succumb to the virus. Basic things become important like caring for each other!
Large groupings cannot take place for fear of this highly contagious virus infecting many people. Churches cannot meet in their buildings and have to meet in cyberspace. Those with well-developed websites can maintain their worship services. Others who centre on the Eucharist may require worshippers to take on a more passive role as they watch the ceremony on the web.
Where there is a congregational prayer network operating on social media the needs of the Fellowship can be catered for to a certain extent. In fact, the smartphone may well be our main avenue for conversation whilst the pandemic lasts.
For spiritual nourishment there are a number of useful websites which provide their listeners with fresh material daily. A couple that have blessed me with relevant material are desiringgod.org which is run by a retired clergyman called John Piper. The other operates under the logo RZIM. It was founded by Ravi Zacharias who has built up a good team of Christian broadcasters and can be reached at RZIM.org.
To combat our propensity to worry Jesus said: – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (St Matthew Chapter 6 verses 25 to 34). Jesus is saying if you look after the things he considers important (what we are to seek first) he will look after the things you consider important (all the rest)!