Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 5

Friday, June 5, 2020

We may be like Grass. Doch

Our Weakness

Highlights God’s Glory

Psalm 42:4

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

2 Corinthians 12:9

He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Words of Grace For Today

Weaknesses abound aplenty. We only fool ourselves if we try to say we have no weaknesses or that they do not compromise us severely, everyday.

We can join all great celebrations and festivals, shouting for joy and giving thanks. The real challenge though is when we think we need all the power of God to be with us to deal with threatening circumstances, and all we have to rely on is our own weaknesses and the Grace of God that gives us renewed life.

We think we have to bring the greatest defences available in all creation.

What we have is our weaknesses and God’s Grace. Seemingly that is not power at all.

Yet there is no power like the power of Grace.

It turns our world’s back as they were all along, as God created them to be.

Grace changes everything.

Grace is everything for us in God’s creation, and our weaknesses make God’s Grace obvious for all to see. It is how we share the news that God asks us to share, that Jesus came to exercise God’s Grace for us, by forgiving all of us all our sins.

Who would have thought that exactly what we find repulsive and weak, is how God makes us so useful.

We certainly cannot know how, yet God certainly uses Covid 19 to make us more aware of God’s grace and God’s will for us all.

It may be that somehow the disastrous care in senior facilities needed to be made known in a manner so that no one could ignore it any longer. It needed to be fixed.

It may be that working without a commute is what creation needs from us. It may be that creation needs less vehicles and more bicycles.

It may be that the stress level needed to be raise far enough that at the ‘routine’ death of a young black man, the nation to the south, and supporters around the world would rise up in protest! It is a tragedy that yet another black man died senselessly. It is a tragedy that violence erupts out of peaceful demonstrations. It is a tragedy that the responses are more violence from the police and national guard and hate language by the elected president.

The police in too many places are far beyond their rights and duties, abusing people at will. The courts have stood behind them or blind to them for so long, on the streets evil has no bounds.

This is not only the case for black men, or for vulnerable women, or for people of minority orientations, colours, creeds, it is full out already the case for good, honest white men, gaslit by misandrous women as if all men were misogynists and perpetrators of ill towards women, when they certainly are not.

Some have put it succinctly: Raaj Shetti: Misandry is growing like a wild fire in this world. support feminism, but not misandry.and M.F. Moonzajer: Misogyny or misandry is not a status or a belief; it is just a sickness.

If you still think that misandry is not a hidden, covered up, destructive force, also behind Geroge Floyd’s death and the countless deaths of young First Nations men (more numerous than female deaths) by both police and others, the see these two articles: Misandry: The Invisible Hatred of Men and Why Some People Have Issues With Men: Misandry.

How come we as a people always need to make scapegoats of real good, honest and innocent people … as if that would or could fix anything. Our misguided, hate-filled attempts to fix hate just makes things like racism, misogyny, misandry, bigotry, or simple hatred that much worse.

How come more police could not, as in one city in Michigan, take off their riot helmets and join in with the protesters? How come political leaders are not out in the protest lines, ensuring they are not hijacked by violence by ‘participants’ or police? How come more of us could not join in and ensure that the demonstrations were not pushed by unseen organizers of both extremes to fulfill Trump’s stupid prediction quoted from a tragic history?

This we do not know.

Still we pray: save the people from the temptations to Evil. Save all the people, including those in uniforms holding state authorized weapons with a task to hold back evil with more evil force. God, we pray, save us all!

Regardless, God will work with our weaknesses to bring blessings to all creation.

We Leave Small Tracks

Small, Lonely Tracks

March on!

We may seem small, But God makes us Live eternally

Blessings Come even through this Pandemic

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 4

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Dead Grass OR ?

We are but Grass, Blown in the Wind

While our Enemies Stand like Trees

Doch, God Ensures We are Victors

Eternally

1 Samuel 17:45

But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

Ephesians 6:14-15

Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s war:

The Philistines with Israel.

Goliath versus David.

The Devil and all his powers to destroy versus the Disciples of Jesus proclaiming peace.

Covid 19 versus us, the whole population of earth.

The whole human population of earth versus all life for the survival of planet earth.

The Devil and all his deceiving followers versus the people of God who rely on truth, forgiveness and love, which is a battle with ourselves sinner-saints that we are.

… and all the other battles and wars we are caught up in.

The battles we enter in the wars we are a part of, whether we choose to be or not, are never among equal parties.

It appears that our enemies, like Israel’s and David’s (the Philistine giant Goliath), are much more powerful than we are. It seems futile to engage in what seems to be a battle to them with assured victory, when we insist it will be peace.

Like David (we hope) we are equipped with nothing great, perhaps just a slingshot and a few pebbles, or more likely just a heart filled with gratitude, joy, and hope.

Our enemies have great arsenals:

The Devil has hoards of followers and a long track record of winning and destroying those he conquers. He has the record of setting the world standards in such a way as to make life impossible unless one cheats, lies and destroys others by taking from them what one wants.

Goliath has already scared the entire Israeli army into retreating from fighting with him.

Covid 19 works in stealth mode, catching us when we are unaware, and recruiting us to spread it to others even before we know we are ill. It attacks in many and various ways, depending on the health and genes of the person invaded. We cannot see the enemy until it may be too late.

Maybe we have water and soap, sometimes hand sanitizer, and orders to stay away from others, and to stay the blazes home, but we have no idea if all that actually works, or if we can do that long enough before the virus destroys our economies so far that there is not much left of us.

Doch.

We stand in God’s presence everyday. God stands with us. We need not fight at all. We humbly submit to God’s will, confess our sins and receive forgiveness, new and abundant life, and a calling to spread the news of God’s love in Jesus, which saves us all.

Whether we prevail as David did with just a pebble, God ensures that our efforts as part of God’s Kingdom bring peace to earth, in God’s time and in God’s manner.

God ensures, despite our efforts, our successes, or our failures, that there is peace for us and for all others who call on God’s name.

That outcome is why it is possible for us to engage, against all odds, to bring truth and Christ’s light to bear on all evil.

Covid 19 may not be easy to battle, yet we are on the winning side, even if it ends our lives or the lives of our loved ones here and now.

God has overcome death with Jesus’ resurrection. This we can trust.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 28

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Water, Water, Everywhere

No one to bring me to the water

and it’s all frozen hard.

Help.

Help us all through the ice of sin and shame.

Psalms 25:16

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

John 5:7-8

The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’

Words of Grace For Today

If ever there were a time when loneliness and afflictions were shared by so many people, even those who are not caught alone by the Covid 19 restrictions!

So we pray: God turn to us/to me, be gracious to us/to me. We’ve waited years for someone to carry us to the living water and immerse us in it so that our body, mind, and soul could be healed. Now we know, we only need Jesus to speak a Word, and we will be made whole again.

We are, since our baptisms, the hands, feet, and voice of Christ, anointed to bring the living Word to those in need.

Stand up, be counted among the saints, and speak.

Today speak with the holy healing whispers of the wind as the Spirit inspires you.

So many people thirst for the water that will make them whole.

Today speak of the water that overflows our cups giving all more than enough to drink.

So many people hunger to hear the word that will make them whole.

Today speak simple words of Jesus’ love renewed yet again in us, for all people.

Today, be God’s grace for others. ‘Pay the rent on the air you breathe’ today by doing Grace.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 27

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Light in the Cracks

Light in the Cracks

Light in the Breaks

Light in the Breaks

God’s Light always finds a way in.

Psalms 138:8

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Philippians 1:6

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

The work of God’s hands is us and all of creation around us.

How marvellous it is, too. I look outside my window, no matter the weather, and see the wonders that God created. In winter the cold clear air fills in between the space between the sky and then snow, broken by trees dormant, waiting; and between the trees the lake ice extends for square kilometres. In spring the emerging green pushes up between the dead brown grass and pushes out at the top of the canopy on top the woods, as the rains feed the thirsty land. Summer heat brings out the bugs and people to enjoy the warm air around the cool water of the lake, as breezes across the water refresh the air at night giving relief from the swelter for sleep, and the odd thunderstorm with lightning and thunder strike down the heat with cool sheets of wind driven rain. When fall comes the cool air returns ending the summer greening along with the bugs making work outside possible again as time melds slowly into the joints between what must be done to prepare and the thanks one has for all that has been … both those things enjoyed and those things to come in the freeze that’s a’coming, which one has prepared for.

Sachemo sang What a Wonderful World, seeing love in every smile and greeting, “How are you.” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, seeing the dreams come true that make life so gorgeous as trouble melts away like lemon drops. Leonard Cohen sang of love filling life and love lost borne repeatedly, and of the Alleluia we sing with our lives and loves, and of the Anthem of God’s Light reaching us through all the cracks in our lives. Gabriel played his Oboe to communicate God’s love and trust to a South American First Nations people hunted and enslaved, whom the church then condemned to genocide in order to buy peace in Europe.

God made creation beautiful.

Repeatedly we destroy it with greed, violence, and corruption.

Yet, God will complete the work God has begun through Jesus Christ, the redemption of all creation (including the most destructive animals, those greedy, violent, and corrupt 2-legged animals.)

In us, through the work of the Holy Spirit, God works to grow God’s Word in us, so that no matter what the weather of our times is (the political, environmental, global ‘weather’), for example the Covid 19 pandemic, we will reflect the wonders of creation in all we think, say and do.

No matter who the person is, with the right light, their photo will reflect the wonders of their creator.

It’s through our cracks that the Light of Christ shines into and back out of us, so we sing alleluia, what a wonderful world, and what promise there is over every rainbow.

Like love and joy lost, forgotten, and renewed our life-songs are played best in the key of H#, for Hope+ by the melancholy, mournful, hopeful oboe and bassoon, and at times heralded by the trumpet, trombone and tuba.

Now Your on,

Sing it with all your heart …

5, 6, 7, 8 –

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 17

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rutted Ways Ahead

Lost in the Ice

Canoe Ready

or Set in the Comfortable and Familiar

The Challenge to be

Who we are is Constant

1 Kings 8:58

Incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances, which he commanded our ancestors.

Colossians 2:6-7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Words of Grace For Today

There are so many things to do to discipline oneself to live well.

The challenges are never ending, sometimes overwhelming, other times simple. Life without challenges is not life. The questions constantly before us are:

A. Who are we?

B. Whose are we?

Every other question is subsumed into these, and the answers we give to every other question with our living (thinking, dreaming, planning, organizing, talking, writing, and doing – or not) are also the answer to these two questions.

Once we realize and confess that we are

A. wretched sinners saved by Grace alone (not by anything we do/not do/are/aren’t), transformed continually to be Saints, and

B. God’s people by baptism into Christ,

Then we have our work cut out for us to live out the promise God creates us to be for other people: That we will bear God’s Grace and the Good News of Jesus’ saving us all, also them.

So we continue to live our lives rooted and built up in Christ, as we are established in faith.

We incline our hearts to God walking in Christ’s Way, keeping his commandments to love our neighbour and ourselves and our enemies as he has loved us.

And, as the saints in light who have gone before us have taught us, we live with overflowing gratitude.

Covid 19 has put somethings in perspective, slowed us down, kept us home, given us time to see ourselves and our families up close for hours on end, or to submerse ourselves in solitude (for those of us who live alone.)

The challenges are still great, and they tax us in new ways, and they give us new opportunities to discover who we are, and whose we are.

For this we give thanks!

The Fog of Life

Makes the Light of Christ

Visible

We Reflect God’s Perfection Imperfectly

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 12

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Tracks Galore

Forever More …

Our paths are diverse

Let them not be perverse.

1 Kings 3:4 & 9

God said, ‘Ask what I should give you.’ And Solomon said, ‘Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?’

Philippians 1:9-10

This is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless.

Words of Grace For Today

“… So that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless.” Well, sinners all, that is impossible … except that Jesus’ record will be used in place of ours.

That redemption of our sinful lives is not dependent upon us, not in anyway. That’s God’s choice, God’s gift, God’s promise to us, each of us.

Now to live boldly, to God’s glory, with courage, as we are able.

Able to have God’s love overflow more and more into us and out of us to others.

So that the ability to discern good and evil, full knowledge and insight help us determine what is best everyday, no matter our circumstance.

We may not have Solomon’s responsibilities, to govern God’s people as ruler, leader and king. Each of us does impact the lives of those around us. We each ‘lead’ and ‘govern’ greatly how others encounter the world and God … either as curse, harsh, short and brutish OR as blessing, redeemed, eternal and joyful.

So we pray: give us, God, your love overflowing that from your Grace and Mercy our knowledge and wisdom may govern our lives and contribute to the lives of those around us.

As we face Covid 19, and every challenge of our lives, let us find wisdom beyond our years.

Let us help others facing loneliness, depression, oppression, scapegoating and gaslighting find your Light shining also for them through us.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 10

Sunday, May 10, 2020

One Mother

See the Beauty, See the Wonder

1 Samuel 10:7

Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you.

2 Timothy 2:7

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.

Words of Grace For Today

Happy Mother’s Day, to the mothers in my life (and in yours.)

How can we meet the expectations that we and others have for how we honour our mothers on this day … when we cannot go see them, give them flowers, ….

There are telephones, and the internet, thankfully.

How can we hug the precious mother who gave us life?

and hopefully astounding love?

In these times this is not possible, or legal, or even advisable … since even if we are asymptomatic we could be contagious and hugging our mothers could share more than we wanted to. We could share that nasty virus that is likely much more dangerous for our mother than for us.

So let words and gestures abound.

Let humour abound.

Let our imaginations abound.

Like the care facility that made a mock up of Tim’s to allow the residents a bit of normalcy: an opportunity to place and receive an order for coffee and Timbits.

Or the children who showed up outside their grandmother’s care-home window, called her to tell her to look out the window, and they danced in a ring, well a sort-of-ring, that turned out to be the shape of a heart! before they rolled all over the ground before standing up in a line to take their bows.

Whatever is required, when we live immersed in God’s Word day in and day out, no matter the challenge that we face, God will be with us as we find our way forward.

Courage, Faith, Love and Hope, all this God provides aplenty for us.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 6

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Moon fog

Caught in Darkness?

water drops

The Light will Shine

And be reflected by all water and life in Creation

Isaiah 42:16

I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.

Luke 1:78-79

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Words of Grace For Today

Darkness. Total, deep, profound darkness of the soul. No light at the end of the tunnel.

When we find ourselves there, to put it into cosmic terms, in a black hole that pulls everything around it into nothingness …

When we find ourselves there it seems that everything is lost, not only things that build a sense of continuity and security (like jobs, homes, family, church, and even the tool that enables one to create – a camera, a pencil, a computer, a canvas), not just life and all good life at that for us and for creation, but meaning, history, presence and future ….

When time and hope are lost into the void and emptiness that is left to us, then only memory of, or re-spoken promises made in the past, or that little light at the end of the vortex can save us from going totally bonkers.

Covid 19’s threat (the lock-down, our isolations, our ‘staying the blazes home’, our financial concerns, the risk to our and our loved ones’ health and lives), for most of us does not approach the vortex of a black hole where no light exists. For some of us it does.

Whether its a total black out, or a brown out, or we have already gone a bit bonkers so that it all looks like dark colours everywhere …

However this affects us,

We yearn for Light, if yearning is still possible.

God promises to turn darkness into light, rough places into level ground. The dawn from on high breaks in on us in darkness, in the shadow of death, and guides us in the way of peace.

That’s the promise that we can remember … if we can remember.

That’s the promise that we can re-speak for others … when they cannot remember, we can, and we can still speak.

That’s the promise that we need to re-speak, to proclaim with all the vivid colours of the rainbow splashing about …

because even if we do not notice them, there is someone onto whom those colours (carrying Light) will splash.

And they will be saved from the vortex of absolute darkness, by our generous, reckless, prodigal re-speaking a promise that created, redeemed, and guides this whole universe of creation to be able to seek peace.

Peace is not something we attain and hold on to.

Peace is a manner of being in this universe, when participated in brings us to reflect God’s intent for us, but which is lost as quickly as a candle is snuffed out by even a gentle breeze.

Peace be with you, also this day, whatever this day is for you.

Splash and be splashed by the Light and Colours of the rainbow, God’s rainbow of promise, faith, hope, love, grace, and life – abundant life.

kiltered sunset tree

We may be off kilter a bit

Doch God’s Light Shines

in full colour for even us!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 2

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Out of Darkness

Jesus saves us

so that we can contribute to the Kingdom

sacrificing ourselves that others may live abundantly.

Psalms 51:13

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

Colossians 1:3.13

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son

Words of Grace For Today

Rescued from the darkness

It was cold and dark. Dangerously dark, though not even winter cold, yet. Spending the night in the woods miles from anywhere was not the plan.

It was just a hike on a trail being developed, this portion already well planned, if not clearly marked. We arrived climbing up the side of the huge rock to our right, on to the second level of that rock as it overlooked a small lake below. The trail seemed to peter out across the gentle downward slope of the rock face toward the lake and further to the right around that side of the lake.

But then there was just a sheer drop of a few metres into the lake, or the effectively solid wall of trees to the right barring any progress on that side of the lake. There were no signs of a trail around the left side of the lake either and other large rocks jutted out over the lake around that side.

The danger from the dark was not that it was pitch black. It was already dusk and we had miles to go. I was experienced outdoors, but the three with me were not and two were young children. Dark, the real dark that was coming, meant stumbling lost all night, or bedding down in the wet and cold. It had just started to rain as I searched for the trail forward from that rock we ended up on.

Finally I came up with a plan. I’d walk back two miles to where the trail took a turn and was well marked. With flashlight in hand I would retrace our steps.

Huffing, tired, and being spit on from above, cold, I trudged back step by step through the miles, and then returned. Nothing. The obvious trail had no other possible turns as it joined a creek that ran into the lake we had stopped at. As the hard face of that huge rock came up to shoulder height I saw to the left the creek water through the underbrush. It was maybe, yes, it was sort of a path, and then there on the tree on the left side of the trail was a trail-marker arrow. A turn back to the left and quickly down, with a quick switchback to the right and one arrived at a bridge of two logs over the creek.

I lifted my feet as my spirits were lifted. We were not lost. I found the others on the rock overlooking the lake, huddled together for warmth under a rain poncho to keep themselves dry.

We worked our way, sometimes with flashlights down over the creek and up high on the huge rocks along the lake and back down near the wet outflow on the far side of that lake, and onward over roots, and around huge 5 foot diameter trees, through the rain forest, back to the vehicle we’d parked near northwest edge of the small town we called home.

A hot shower, prayers of thanks.

We were rescued, once again, from the darkness by the Grace of God.

It is as easy to lose ourselves in the forest of challenges presented to us, now also because of Covid 19. It is easy to miss an obvious turn because we’ve lost ourselves in the darkness of despair or exhaustion or laziness or disorientation.

Always, God sends us others, or sometimes a clear plan, to help us find our way forward, so that we are there for others as well tomorrow.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 1

Friday, May 1, 2020

Worry

never got any good result.

Looking at things from God’s perspective always does

net us truth.

Numbers 11:23

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.’

Matthew 6:28-29.31

And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?”

Words of Grace For Today

Part of the human condition, built in for survival, is that we can worry, or anticipate with concern, dangers that we may face. And we can do this in such an engaging way that we do something about the danger.

In the summer, there is little pressing reason to make warm clothes. When the bitter winds blow the light blizzardy snow over the thick lake ice set by weeks of -35⁰ and colder temperatures, then the need for warm clothes is clear!

Worry, or being able to anticipate with fully engaging concern, helps us get on with the hard work in the warm weather of making warm clothes for our family for the winter. And for those who cannot make clothes for themselves.

Jump ahead a few eons, and we just need to have a job that pays well enough so that we can go to the store where warm clothes are offered for sale, because someone else has made them, someone else transported them, and someone else has put them in the store for sale.

Now our worry or anticipatory concern drives us to have a job that pays enough so that we can afford warm clothes. Note that our ‘worry’ drive becomes more and more disconnected from our real needs as we face real dangers in the cold winters.

So why does Jesus teach that we should not worry. God clothes the birds of the air and flowers in the field with great beauty. God will also clothe us. Will God? Can we just quit our jobs and go to the store and get the clothes we need for the winter come October? Simply put no.

God provides. God provides everything we need. God provides the drive to be concerned before a danger presents itself. God also provides enough rational capabilities for us to sort out how our drives are disconnected from our real needs and real dangers.

But we are lazy. Part of the human condition so that we do not waste limited energy on useless activities. Thinking clearly is hard work. We like to not think about what is going to happen and just let our God given ‘instinctual’ drives run us. We like to give in to the easy temptations the Devil offers, and instead of using our instinctual drives according to some clearly thought out value system, an ethic, we just let it all happen to us and we take no responsibility. Meanwhile the Devil builds up a perverted rationalization in our minds as to how and why we do what we do. Easy sins are easy to rationalize.

And all hell breaks loose in our lives, because the disconnect between our drive, the dangers we face, and the anticipatory concern to address the dangers are so distantly disconnected that our ‘worry’ now drives us to do all sorts of foolish things, things that rob us and others of life.

We develop, instead of utilitarian answers to our needs for life, an adornment on top of our needs that encroaches on the utilitarian value of the things that meet our needs … and it spirals out of control until, instead of utilitarian things, we acquire pure aesthetics that do not meet our need at all. Our real needs are not met. Our ‘worry’ spirals up, we acquire more things that also do not meet the real needs we have. More and more until we cannot even see the real needs as they are covered by ‘fictionalized needs’ that must be met.

We worry ourselves sick about ‘meeting’ these ‘needs’.

These are the worries that Jesus advises we leave behind, and trust that God will clothe us, as God does the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.

God will clothe us by reconnecting our real anticipatory concerns, and drive thereof, to meet our real needs.

Throw into that mix, since we’ve escaped into aesthetics instead of utilitarian things, that we actually do need to create, enjoy, and admire beauty, both naturally occurring and human created. The first reflects God’s Spirit showing itself for us to marvel at. The later reflects the human spirit, given to us by God, that can overcome otherwise insurmountable dangers and challenges.

Simply put, art and beauty (not necessarily the same, but they can overlap) direct our minds and spirits to connect with people out of the past. Connected to the past we can see the present more clearly, more profoundly. And then we are equipped to ‘see’ the future as it is. It is in God’s hands. We can approach each day with hope.

God’s work will come about. We need not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” Instead we can lighten our minds to see the real challenges and expend our energies to meet them. Sometimes that will mean working hard to provide food, drink, or clothing.

Always that will mean giving God thanks for all that is possible each day.

The worry that Jesus directs us away from is the destructive, downward-spiralling negative thought patterns aimed at things we really can do nothing about, or things around which we’d be better off if we actually did what we can to mitigate the challenges ahead.

Regardless, God will do as God promises. We are God’s, God is with us.

Covid 19: there are many things we can do. Hand washing and physical distancing and Staying the Blazes home and thinking clearly how we acquire things, or touch things that could have the virus on them, and self-isolating and quarantining if we show even small symptoms … these are only some of the basic and smart things we can do to mitigate the risk to ourselves and everyone around us. We can also help others do these things. Sometimes we need to figure out how to inspire others to do these things.

Then our lives are all about caring for ourselves and others, physically (to social distance ourselves from the fridge, but climb those stairs 10 to 100 times a day), spiritually (setting a specific time to read, pray, and sing each day), and mentally (get a few old fashion games going – even if that is like chess over the phone, or four-way board game, all by telephone – it goes slow, but then we’ve got time, right! OK, parents with children maybe not a second, but get the children playing with friends over the phone. Let them be creative, constructive, and helpful to others.)

And get on the phone: make a call list of people who could use a good word, and call them once a week or so. Model it for children. Do it for your elders. Take care of the vulnerable.

We can STOP worrying, by getting on with what we actually can do.