What I Read Today;
Hebrews 13 & James 1; Acts 11; Jeremiah 19-20; Psalm 100; Judges 11-12
Let’s walk through Hebrews 13 and attempt to apply the teachings to our lives today.
Hebrews 1 vs. 1 – Let Love Continue – It’s been interesting watching some of the posts on Facebook, and Twitter change somewhat during this pandemic. Yes, there are still some hate-filled angry tweets about the President or Governor, but in general, my social media feeds are changing. I’m seeing more people trying to help. I’m seeing more people bring humor to the day. I’m watching a daily post from a dog named Pluto right now, and I find myself laughing a lot more at some of the posts. Slowly, humor is replacing anger. Love is beginning to break through as people attempt to show how they are coping during this pandemic.
Hebrews 1 vs. 2 – Hospitality – This is a tough one. We’re not supposed to be having social contact. We can’t go to worship. We can’t attend Bible Study. Or can we? Churches have gotten creative. Who would have believed a few months ago that a Pastor would be running a daily devotion with her dog at home? Livestream has now become a new word in church language, and that is truly amazing. I led a prayer group last Tuesday from my recliner with 11 people, either on a video chat. And in what can only be described as a real sign of the apocalypse, I just saw a liberal Pastor quote a conservative Pastor in a complementary way on Twitter. (Just kidding)
Hebrews 1 vs. 3 – Remember the Prisoners – The most vulnerable during this outbreak are those who are living in close quarters. Prison populations are at extreme risk. Amazingly, we are now openly talking about those who are incarcerated. We’re discussing releasing those with minor offenses. Maybe, we should have had a real discussion about why are rates of incarceration are so high in the United States? We’re now forced to think about the prison workers, nurses, and administrative staff we have working with these folks.
While we’re talking about prisoners, we should also think about those who are in places they may not want to be living in, such as, Nursing Homes. In the blink of an eye, this pandemic has hit at least three nursing homes that I am aware of, and the death toll in each was horrific. A person who works for me can now only see his Mom through a window into the dining hall. Maybe we’ll think more about those who are in places they don’t want to be?
Hebrews 1 vs. 4 – Keep marriage pure – Sounds like a strange one to talk about during a pandemic, doesn’t it? But in our most intimate relationships, we now find the trust of our spouses more crucial than ever before. We’ve also heard stories of people who’ve been taken to the hospital and passed away, with no family members allowed to be near them. Funerals and weddings are now only attended by 10 or fewer people. Is it possible that this pandemic could actually cause us to realize how precious those in our lives are?
Hebrews 1 vs. 5 – Love of Money – In less than two weeks, we went from a record low unemployment rate to over six million people on unemployment. Perhaps, we will realize how blessed we indeed are. While we’ve seen examples of bill collectors, landlords, and others taking advantage of this awful situation, we really have seen more examples of people reaching out to try and support one another.
I could go on and on. Yet I think that verse 8 really sums things up. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” I believe that there could be a return to faith for many that are coming.
For the first time in our nation’s history, our society may be faced with the idea that we need to reevaluate how we take care of our sick and dying. We may have to face the fact that we’ve allowed our corporations to put profits over people for far too long. We may have to look at our political class and find them wanting. People may now have to really reevaluate where their priorities lie in life.
Could it be that through this horrible time, God could cause us to return to him?