During Jesus’ resurrection appearances with his disciples, he spent time reminding them of the scriptures that spoke to his death, resurrection, and the work of the church to come. These were truths that were plainly in sight in the sacred texts yet the disciples missed their deeper implications. Many times the circumstances we are in or our season of life illuminate new parts of the story of God and help us to more deeply understand God’s truth and promises to us. Jesus’ disciples could only fully understand some of his teaching and parts of the scripture after being witnesses to the resurrection.
“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4.1-6 (NRSV)
Expecting that God will be guiding us and teaching us during this season of Covid-19, I have been reading large sections of the scriptures listening to how the Holy Spirit will open our eyes and ears in new ways. What are God’s promises and truths that we will read and see in a new light during this turbulent season? Patience growing thin for families stuck at home, tensions between neighbors over social distancing, weariness of hospital workers working long hours, and protests over sheltering in place orders all came flooding into my mind as I read Paul’s exhortation to early believers in Ephesus. Bear with one another in love, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, seeking to maintain the unity of the Spirit – Christian virtues that are easy to name but so difficult to continually practice. Stress and change and loss and uncertainty, all feelings many of us are having during this pandemic, make following Christ’s ways of humility and patience and bearing with one another even harder. The good news is that the Holy Spirit is with us at each moment – guiding us, correcting us, strengthening us to live as Jesus did even during difficult seasons. May we grow in humility, gentleness, and patience; and bear with one another in love.
Check out our new website – yvpres.org. Great place to find these letters, request prayer, and donate online if you desire.
Please continue to call/text two or three different members of our community to check in on each other and ask to pray with each other. Take a risk and pray for each other over the phone.
If you have an urgent prayer request – please call Paula Ash (925) 435 – 2859 to start the prayer chain.
Join the Zoom call this Sunday for our worship gathering. Zoom is a digital platform that facilitates online group meetings. You will find an invitation to the Zoom call in your email. You can use your smartphone or computer to join. If you haven’t gotten an invitation, please call or email me. Please bring juice and bread to the call so that we can all share Communion together. (If you are having trouble with Zoom – please reach out to Singeh Saliki to help (405) 714 – 3641.)
Even as we don’t see each other in person, our church will continue to have our ongoing expenses. If you are able, please mail in your offering to YVPC, 2140 Minert Rd., Concord, Ca, 94518. Thanks. (You can also give your offering through the website yvpres.org if that is easier for you.)
Connecting with God
Take time to be silent with God. Find comfortable seat and spend time just listening to God.
Gratitude journal – During a season of uncertainty and hardship, giving thanks can be a powerful spiritual practice. Consider writing down ten things each day you thankful to God for.
Use the ‘Common Prayer – A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals’ by Shane Claiborne for daily prayer and to guide our weekly worship times. You can find it online at commonprayer.net or call me and we will get one delivered to you.
Loving our neighbors
If you are sheltering in place, light a candle in your home. Each time you see the candle pray for essential workers at this time at hospitals, grocery stores, post office, gas stations etc.
Washing hands, practicing social distancing, and if able, only leaving our homes for essential needs to help protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
Deacon’s Food Closet – We have an abundance of canned food at the church building. Please let me know if you or a neighbor needs food and we can drop it on the doorstep.
Grace and Peace,
(please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions, concerns, or ideas of ways we can stay connected and support each other (510) 856 – 7434)