Ministers' thought for the week
29th March 2020
Self-isolating is a new phenomenon introduced to help us deal with the Coronavirus. It’s something that we’re not really used to. Most of us are reasonably happy to be on our own for a while but we also enjoy socialising. It’s nice to get together with friends and family, swap stories, catch up on the latest gossip and generally enjoy each other’s company.
For me it’s been an opportunity to read, listen to music and enjoy the company of my wife (not necessarily in that order!).
I read again the passage of scripture from Matthews gospel chapter 14 verses 22-27….
22 Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people away. 23 After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone; 24 and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it.
25 Between three and six o'clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. 26 When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It's a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear.
27 Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don't be afraid!”
I noticed that Jesus himself took time to self-isolate, though not for 12 weeks! Even He needed time by himself to refresh and renew and to spend time with his Father in prayer. Notice also that while Jesus is spending time alone a storm brews up. The disciples find themselves buffeted and blown around, they feel afraid and fear for their lives. Sound familiar?
The important thing to note though, is that Jesus didn’t leave them to fend for themselves.
He came to them, reached out to them, reassured them and gave them peace.
The Coronavirus storm rages around us and Jesus comes to us in the same way as he did when the disciples were in a storm. He reaches out to us in love, he reassure us because he is in the storm with us, and he brings peace. In fact, Jesus stilled the storm. He not only took away their fear, he took away the cause of their fear.
As a Christian church we unite with millions around the world that God’s presence will be with us during this crisis. That His reassurance will come to those who are fearful, discouraged, frustrated, disturbed or grieving. And through this difficult time will be able to find peace in our hearts through the presence of God.
Here’s a prayer I found that you might like to make your own.
I have never felt so alone. I could never have imagined facing something like this on my own and I’m afraid. Please remind me that you are with me. Allow me to feel your presence. Remind me that, as your child, you have not given me a spirit of fear. Remind me that I can trust you with whatever may come. Lord, this isolation is overwhelming. I know I could pick up the phone and call someone, but I don’t want to be a burden. Please help me to have concern for others above myself. I know I’m not the only one feeling lonely, give me the courage to reach out and offer encouragement to others. Amen
And I mentioned at the beginning that I have enjoyed listening to music during this time of self-isolation. Here’s a couple of songs that I’ve enjoyed and you might enjoy them as well. The first is ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong, and it encourages us to find comfort in the presence of God. The second is ‘Bridge over troubled water’ by Simon and Garfunkel. It’s not a Christian song but I think it help us to realise that we’re not going through this time alone.