How many of you are tired of being just at home and with your family? I know I heard that a fair bit from my kids yesterday. They are ready for life to go back to what it was. They miss their friends. They miss their teachers. They miss going to school. And do you know what, I get it. I miss them going to school. I miss getting to gather with our church family. I miss a lot of things. I know that at some point we will be able to do all those things again. But do you know what I would miss more if we were not practicing being apart – I would miss all the people who got really sick because of this virus! We just can’t get new people as easily as we can get other things.
This is hard but we can do hard things. In our Old Testament reading we’re continuing with God using Moses to have Pharaoh let the Israelites leave Egypt. Today’s reading, Exodus 9:1-14 is the preparation for the first Passover. God gives some strange instructions – including putting the blood of a lamb on the door frame of the house. “12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Wow. It’s hard to think about what God is doing in the story against the Egyptians. It is much easier to think about God saving the Israelites.
In our New Testament reading Mark 9:14-29 tells the story of healing a boy who has an unclean spirit. The dad had brought the boy to Jesus’ disciples who had been unable to heal him. Jesus finally takes over and does it but only after the Father asks Jesus to help his unbelief.
It is sometimes hard to believe things we cannot see. We do not know anyone who is sick so why is this happening – why do we have to stay away from people. It’s like when a hurricane is in the gulf and it is sunny outside. Do we really need to bring everything that could blow away inside the garage? Do we really need to make sure that we’ve got food, water, and gas in the car just in case we have to evacuate? The answer is yes, because we know it’s coming. The last 10 days we’ve been asked to stay away from each other but the reality is that not everyone has done it and the virus is spreading. Our doctors are telling us that if do not make drastic changes they will not be able to help everyone who needs help.
Today’s challenge is this – encourage those you know who are tired and do not believe that this will make a difference. Pray – ask God to help those who do not believe to see how this is caring for all of God’s children. Imagine – think about what the first thing you want to do when we can all gather at the church again.
Let’s pray – God we love you and we know you love us. Help our unbelief so that we may prepare and care for all of your people. In the name of Jesus, Amen.