Sunday’s message from Roger Kent (March 22, 2020)

Hurry up and Stand Still
For the Lord, Your God is Here!!

The world has been turned upside down. Our lives, our way of life, has been upset. Covid 19 and every piece of information about it is controlling every decision surrounding our liberties. ….and ….so they should.

This is a terrible virus. It’s strength and virility are challenging our collective, worldwide knowledge of medicine. Thousands of people around the world are struggling to get on top of it. They are gaining on it and will prevail. There will be many more deaths before then. We are praying for every one of the lives that have already fallen and will eventually succumb to it. Our knowledge will bring this under control.

Financially, we are spiraling toward a repeat of the great depression. At least that’s how I feel. I don’t know for sure and I haven’t had any discussion about it because it’s only money. I have my family; I have my friends and I have God.

But where is God?? Where in this time of crisis is GOD!! How can this happen to the world?? How??…. Why???…. Where??……. Thank God that we have a government who together are doing everything they can to relieve the strain and to ensure that all people are attended to.

It makes no difference which party is in power, here in Canada this is what we do. And, we are seeing it around the world.

So, our workplaces, our school, our places of entertainment, sports and our money have all been stopped. Now, we have to stay apart from our neighbor. Keep our distance. Concern ourselves with who??…where? We are alone……!?!?!

The Prime Minister our Premier and our Mayor have all told us to call one another and check in, yet we are alone!!

NO!! No, we are not. We have been on this world for so long and yet we don’t know how to beat the virus… but we are still learning. We may not have a job; we may have to rely on others to get by but…. we still have two feet and a heartbeat. This isolation is painful, I know. Yet, we will survive.

But it’s “only Pain” and it’s “only money”. WE still have God………. we still have God.

We are not the power and we are not the glory. This is not our kingdom.

This time, this suffering will not take God away. We have been saying for years that God is always with us and now…. now we must feel the presence, we must hear the voice and we must bring God’s grace to bear.

The reading today from Luke, stands as a reminder, a clear reminder of truths. The truth is that Jesus in his time passed along a lesson; how to pray. That stays with us today. That lesson is our extension cord. We can plug it in and get a direct line to God’s ear. But hold on…. That’s only one truth. I said truths. Didn’t I??? Absolutely, the prayer, the “Our father” is only the first part of the reading. This is a lesson in grammar. The prayer is the noun. It is just a prayer……. The message needs an action, a verb. The second part of the reading is the lesson that gives us the verb. It teaches us the action. Persistence. Dogged driving relentless insistence and demanding of a result.

“because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need”. Just as God will give us what we need.

So, when we combine noun with verb the message is clear. We pray, and as we pray and ask for our daily bread, we remain persistent and insistent because what we are and what we pray for is just. It is right.

So how do we use this lesson today? How can we even think about spending even a moment on thinking about how we should be persistent? Insistent? Pushing with shameless audacity?? We are in a race against time!! We have our orders!! We must survive!! We have to concern ourselves with the well being of our family! FAMILY!!

We must run the race fast! Faster! We must win!

Our family extends far beyond those of blood. We are members of the Christian family. We are members of the family known as the children of God. We are all God’s chosen. We have a responsibility to all people. This lesson shouts at us and tells us to find a way! Find a way to reach out and be there for your neighbor! Find a way to make time to visit where you cannot visit! Find a way to stand still and realize that God hears our prayers and is standing with us.

We have come a very, very long way in this 21st century. My father –in-law and good friend is using a tablet at 93 years of age. My father with his diminishing intellect is controlling three remotes in order to watch the news. We have tools, phone, I-phone, tablets, computers.

For the longest time we have been complaining that these devises were taking us out of the community. They were going to be the end of us. God is showing us that they are simply tools. Tools that now can be used to make everyone aware that they are not alone.

The single mother who now has no work. … The senior whose life partner has passed………. The mom and dad at home with three teenagers all antsy and trying to cope in the small space with no outs……the caregiver, technician, clinician and doctor………the politician……. THEY ARE NOT ALONE! It is time to reach out to all of them. God gave us the reading today to remind us and tell us to act and never stop.

Let us pray, over and over again that we can use God’s lessons and our tools and maintain this world and our connection with all people. Let us teach all people that this time is an opportunity to demonstrate caring, love, compassion and giving.

Take a moment, breathe, hear it and reach out for the Lord, Your God is there and always will be.