Have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
Words of Grace For Today
There is too much to fear these days:
The Covid19 delta variant and other more transmissible and deadly variants that will come out of unvaccinated populations where Covid still runs rampant threaten us all.
Climate change disasters like crop failures, disasters for the farmers and for the people who depend on that food (at a cost that can be afforded), floods that destroy homes, businesses, industries, and kill people (putting the future habitability of so much land in doubt), fires that destroy homes, businesses and forestry industries and kill people (putting the future habitability of so much land in doubt, and drive even higher the cost of building lumber – so that it is out of reach for so many people), and wildfires that put so much smoke in every direction into the air that for thousands of miles people have trouble breathing.
Barbaric fabrication of reality (by spouses and children, police and pastors, lawyers and judges) in order to gain a fast diminishing advantage (money, power, and/or status) over good and honest people, falsifying science results or ignoring science’s best results (by politicians who lead us into destroying the very things that we need to live on earth, and by Covidiots and others who put every life at risk with their unsupported insistence that they can be right with their foolishness), and the accumulation of power by people who have driven fear into huge portions of our populations so that they are willing to surrender their freedoms in exchange for false promises that their fears will be dealt with. Instead more and more of their freedoms are taken and hate based decisions by despots destroy the lives of many good people. All which disconnects us from reality, the basic reality that God walks with us, and blesses us with many things in order that we can share them with all other people.
How are we to respond to these very real causes of fear in and among us?
First we listen as we have listened for years, for decades, and for generations to God’s promises.
Have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.
Second we learn how and practise daily to be the people who live past fear in the Grace that God provides, so that we can share that Grace with others.
We let no evil talk come out of our mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that our words may give grace to those who hear.
If that sounds simple, it is, and it is impossible for us. Doch with God all things are possible and God calls us to live exactly this way. Living beyond fear, filled with Grace and sharing Grace with others, with our words and our actions, is exactly how God created us to live in the world.
There is too much to fear these days, just as there always has been for every generation. We can get lost in that fear, destroying (and de-story-ing) ourselves and others in the process … OR
We can remember and live in the story that God has for us: God makes us saints who share the Light of Christ with the whole world and all the people in it.
We cannot help but to fear and destroy and de-story ourselves and others.
Doch by God’s Grace we are saved and can be part of God’s work of saving everyone of all time.
Not so small a deal, when we think about it and remember how much God has done for us through the generations.
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Words of Grace For Today
God, why …?
God why is it so hot!
Sweat pours down my back and arms and all over dripping all my work in stinky wet.
My jeans stick to my legs as I try to move. My shirt tugs back at all my efforts to move. It’s hard to get anything done, and when I do I feel like someone has wrung me out like a sopping wet towel and left me still soaking and stinking.
Ok, God, I can get used to the heat, it’s not easy but I’m adapting to it, but
God why are there so many miserable mosquitoes ready to bite me at all hours and at dawn and dusk they swarm so thick it’s hard not to inhale more than a few just walking a few feet from the door. When they bite it hurts, and then goes away, just to come back with a terrible itch that simply will not go away and will not be ignored! What’s that about anyway. If I try to ignore them and merely wash the itch away with ammonia in the glass cleaner, that sort of works until I get itchy all over inside my eyes, my nose, my throat and my ears and I start to have a severe allergic reaction that starts to take my breath away. Really, does it have to be so bad all summer long!? I have to wear long jeans and long sleeves, thick socks and a hat with flaps down my neck and over my ears soaked in DEET to keep them away. Then every night I have to wash all that DEET exposure away before I sleep which takes water which is expensive to haul here to have to wash with. Fortunately I have friends who have loaned me the things needed to shower each night and haul water often enough from town that I can shower on the hot days before sleeping.
So God I guess I can get used to the mosquitoes, but God, I mean really: does there have to be so many black gnats that dive bomb into my face, my eyes and ears and take little chunks away as prizes for their kamikaze efforts, which because they are so many they usually survive better than I. I end up breathing them into my lungs at least once a day. I have to constantly wave my hand in front of my face to keep them away, which sort of works and they only seem to be out in certain places while I am mowing grass. So it’s not all the time, thankfully.
So God I guess I have figured out how to survive even the kamikaze gnats.
But God why are there so many wasps, not just ready to bite me when I try to work on the tarps that shelter me from the cold in winter. They did sting me, hard sending shock waves through my body and brain freezing out all other thoughts or impulses except to run. Not just once, but twice, and they hurt unbearably for hours, then itched and ached for days. The memory returned fresh each time I stepped outside and the sound of a wasp buzz reached my ears. I live in fear everyday of being smashed into panic again. I cannot have that. I cannot work. I have to huddle in fear inside.
That just cannot be. So I’ve made a suit to protect me from head to toe, even a piece of screen left over from repairs to guard my face, all duct taped together with no gaps at all. I’ve read on the internet that dish soap will suffocate wasps. I cannot find any prepared wasp control/killer spray, so I’ve filled a spray bottle with a water soap mix and I’ve destroyed the nest on the tarps, and three in the woods so close they wasps swarm around the camper each day.
So God I guess I’ve figured out how to deal with the fear created by being stung by wasps, and in the fall they will all dies off. Next spring I know what to do to keep them from creating nest here again. It’s simple if I am ready.
But God I really don’t know what to do with the people that gaslight me, that scapegoat me, that bear false witness against me, and the judges that lie about the evidence before them in order to convict me and deny me true justice. How can a society survive such barbarism anyway. It’s like the truth does not count for anything and whatever someone makes up for the courts and whatever the courts want to make up for themselves will be taken in the worse possible way for me, and I’ll pay and pay and pay until I have nothing left and still I’ll be driven into debt, further and further and further, and made to give up even the most common decent truths about myself. I have had to celebrate the Eucharist each day to remember that you too were betrayed and scapegoated and convicted and … well you were crucified. I have not been killed. I have found your blessings in each day in the most profound and simple things, like having enough to eat, and a good cup of coffee with fresh milk in it in the morning, and having medications I need, and having reason and opportunity to work hard to survive, and write and dream and use photography to speak about the wonders of your creation.
So God, I guess I have gotten used to evil all around in the most trusted, honoured places in society in this adopted country of mine. I have to remember how much you forgive me, so that I can remember that you may forgive these people as well, though now I cannot say their sins are forgiven, for they have not admitted they did and still do this same thing to others, and it is horrendous for the children. So I have bound their sins so that they might fear that they will answer to you, though with you I hope for a double victory, now that they provide justice based on truth, and that they join your people in celebrating all your gifts, encouraging others to do the same.
But Lord, it’s so hot, there’s so many mosquitoes and gnats and wasps and so many enemies of goodness, kindness, truth, and love. How can I deal with all of them all the time.
So I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep
and if I die before I wake, least I won’t wonder how much is still at stake
for the dance of life is more than a dance, gracefully, graciously partaken in.
It is also a feast and celebration with you, God, with all your people, in thanks for all you’ve suffered to do good things for us all.
So I guess I can wait for the cold, when the sweat will not run freely, the mosquitoes will be done for another year, the gnats will disappear and I can breathe easy, and the evil people are kept at bay by the cold and snow.
But God why does it have to be so cold and stormy, and why does there have to be so much snow.
I mean I like to have my peace and be able to ski ….
So Lord I pray, give me your peace, in the sleep of the righteous and pure, graciously so made a saint of your light by your own choice and by grace through faith alone.
Another simple normal summer day.
When does autumn start to arrive?
But Lord, why do the bears start to come around in the fall …..?
Lord, whatever it is that holds me captive, free me. Whatever it is that blinds me, give me sight. Whatever it is that robs me of joy while serving you and sharing the good news of your Grace with others, take this from me so that
because you give me life
I can be one of the saints who bring good news to the oppressed, who bind up the broken-hearted, who proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners.
Help me live in the freedom you have so preciously bought for me; help me not return to the slavery that I know so well and feels so comfortable … until it binds me so close to evil that life starts to shrivel right out of me leaving me alone with my fears.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’
Words of Grace For Today
Lord, teach us to pray.
Our enemies continue to deny their evil deeds, blaming us for the destruction they have wrought, using their corrupted power to assert lies as if they ever could be reality.
Covidiots continue to threaten so many lives as once again they crowd the various campsites with multiple vehicles and units. On site within ten feet of the water draws 1 camper, 7 tents and 9 vehicles, normally this site holds at most two campers. There is no visible sewage facilities, other than perhaps one shared toilet in the one camper. Young adults, most vulnerable now to dying of Covid, play a mere foot from each other around something.
Another site hosts 3 tents and 3 units, normally it hold 1 or 2 units. Another site hosts 3 large units, normally it holds 1 unit. Another has 6 units fit in where 2 units usually occupy the space. Yet another that usually holds 1 unit, has three tents and a biffy tent, the only one among all the sites.
At each site a small to large crowd gathers around a fire, a buffet is set out on a table for all to visit as often as they wish. There are no masks or observances that Covid will kill them with a bare day’s notice, and/or us, and/or many, many other people.
The seasons change, and this year’s normals are last year’s extremes, and we wonder if living in the woods will be survivable for the few years we have left!
So we ask again this morning, this noon, and this night, Lord, teach us to pray, again.
Teach us so that we know our real concerns may be left in your hands, so that evil doers with power, idiots of all kinds who threaten many lives, and the climate changes that will come our way may all be left in your hands as our twilight years approach and we wonder how many years or months or days we have left in this life of wonder.
Teach us to pray.
Lord, teach us.
‘Abba in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come! Your will be done! (soon please!) on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil! For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen’
Lord, teach us to pray so that we can live trusting your Grace and Love for us and for all people.
When we have so much and still cannot share generously and freely,
We drive in circles,
leaving tracks all over others,
bearing witness to our craziness, the emptiness of our lives,
and our inability to live abundantly.
1 Chronicles 29:9
Then the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with single mind they had offered freely to the Lord; King David also rejoiced greatly.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Words of Grace For Today
Why do we give?
Why do you give?
We do not give in order to earn God’s favour. That is a futile way to earn God’s favour and a destructive way to live.
We give because 1) others are in need of what we can share, and 2) because giving cheerfully, not reluctantly or under compulsion, reflects and determines who we are and who we become.
We give because God has not left us poor!
The Sheldons were a large family in severe financial distress after a series of misfortunes. The help they received was not adequate, yet they managed their meagre income with ingenuity – and without complaint.
A new social worker in poverty-stricken Appalachia was assigned the Sheldon family and shared this story about her first visit with them.
One fall day I visited the Sheldons in their ramshackle rented house where they lived at the edge of the woods. Despite a painful physical handicap, Mr. Sheldon had shot and butchered a bear that strayed into their yard once too often. The meat had been processed into all the big canning jars they could find or swap for. There would be meat in their diet even during the worst of the winter when their fuel costs were high.
Mr Sheldon offered a jar of bear meat to me. I hesitated to accept it, but the giver met my unspoken resistance firmly. “Now you just have to take this. We want you to have it. We don’t have much, that’s a fact; but we ain’t poor!”
I couldn’t resist asking, “What’s the difference?”
His answer proved unforgettable. “When you can give something away, even when you don’t have much, then you ain’t poor.When you don’t feel easy giving something away even if you got more’n you need, then you’re poor, whether you know it or not.”
Florence Ferrier Gospel Notes 2001, Brian Stoffregen, reworked KAS and TL 2004 &2020
Just because one is wealthy, powerful or famous does not mean one does not need, for one’s own well being, to give and give generously. Even King David joined the people in giving and in rejoicing!
As for people that are so flush with luxury and comfort that they have forgotten that others are in need, and who are so poor the hoard their untold wealth, only God can deal with them. We cannot nor do we need to deal with them. That’s one more blessing for which we can be grateful to God!
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.
He also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?”
Words of Grace For Today
Who do we follow?
Can we follow others …
into the ways of the Devil?
on the way of Jesus?
So much is made, to great detriment, of ‘the woman’ seeing the forbidden tree was good for food, eating first, then offering her husband the same.
Truth is, as every honest person knows, men and women alike are as easily and as likely to see forbidden fruit as something they desire, must have, and for which they do great evil things to acquire.
Every day, each of us, needs a Word, whether from our memories or renewed, currently spoken to us, … a Word that creates faith in us such that we can resist temptation to pursue life for ourselves (to the great detriment of many others).
That Word does not come from anyone, anywhere, at any time, other than from God. And God’s Word must be spoken, written or communicated (through events, dance, music or something similar) by other humans. It is a paradox: only God’s Word can save us; only another human can provide that Word for us.
Thank God, God’s Kingdom is at hand, and God’s Word is given freely for anyone who is inspired by the Spirit to provide it to others.
In this time of pandemic, now in it’s tenth month of restrictions for us, we need this Word … to inspire us not to listen to the words of discouragement, of resignation, and especially of lies … as if ignoring the danger with reckless behaviour can save any of us.
Yet covidiots spring up everywhere, sometimes even in us.
Only the Word that gives us breath and life, joy and meaning, love and hope can save us from the Devil’s temptations if not to participate in covidiot behaviours, then to ridicule and complain about those who do.
Thankfully we are not led by blind men or blind women. We are led by Jesus, who has vision to see God as we are unable.
We can approach each day with confidence that God feeds us all we require for abundant life … there is no need to go searching for fruit from the forbidden tree, or even the forbidden tree. Thankfully God provides those who can provide God’s Word to us, and even use us to provide God’s Word to others. Covid 19 has given us even greater opportunities to shared God’s Word.
Be of good courage. There’s much good to be done each day.
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
2 Corinthians 5:20
So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Words of Grace For Today
The pied piper led many though they knew not why or whereto.
Lemmings like sheep follow a leader who is blind to the path taken, even when it’s over a cliff to their death.
If we are ambassadors for Christ and God makes God’s appeal through us to people to be reconciled to God, and the wise shine like the daytime brightness of the sky, and those who lead others to righteousness shine forever like the stars in the dark night, then to what are we to lead people.
We confess that we cannot do anything to make ourselves righteous before God. We confess that we cannot do anything to reconcile ourselves to God.
Can we then lead other people to make themselves righteous before God? Can we lead other people to reconcile themselves to God? No, not all all.
When we try, we are as stupid as dumb sheep and lemmings leading people over a cliff of self over-importance, self-righteousness, and arrogance before God that is an attempt to be godlets, when in fact we are no more than beggars for God’s mercy and grace.
Fortunately God supplies us with both mercy and grace, along with renewed life and the old, old story of Jesus and God’s love.
This is what we can bring to people. And through us the Holy Spirit may indeed reconcile many people to God, and God may bring us to be among the saints, the people who reflect Christ’s Light to all people.
Can we do nothing, then, in relation to being reconciled to God? Yes, though we can do plenty to resist and destroy and tear down and separate ourselves from God. We do have free choice, and we each of us exercises it plenty in trying to turn away from God, to try to take over what only God can do, to try to become godlets unto ourselves, as if we created the universe and could ever control it.
Since God reconciles us to God by Grace alone, and since God shines Christ’s Light through us to the world, and since God sends us and equips us to be God’s ambassadors to Christ’s Grace, then through us the Holy Spirit can and does make wondrous things happen, signs for all to see God’s glory in Grace and Love.
10:00 am as I write this. The sunshine finally finds the snow on the lake, though not a drop has found the snow on the meadow between the trees. We likewise find ourselves in the escalating numbers of the second wave of Covid 19, as it spreads like wildfire across Alberta, the government responding with ideological priorities, so as not to offend those who hold their individual rights and freedoms must not be infringed on. The light seems to be that a vaccine will be available in a month. The reality is it will be available to only a few at first. It will likely be a half year at the earliest that everyone who wants a vaccine will receive it. The number who will refuse is likely to be so high that there will be little ‘herd vaccine protection’ and the virus will take a few years to subside … perhaps just in time for the next mutation of a coronavirus to sweep across the too densely populated earth.
In this mess and chaotic, deadly non-response to the virus, we are sent as ambassadors of Christ’ Light and Grace. Reach out to all those in need, especially the ineffective leaders, and the masses of skewed-thinking people who think it’s all a hoax, or that their individual rights and freedoms cannot be limited so as to save everyone.
And pray, for this is just one chaotic mess made by humans that only God’s Grace can set right. Carry on each day, trusting the God’s Grace is sufficient for our days.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.
For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?
Words of Grace For Today
Remember lest we forget those who sacrificed that we might live without overt fascism!
Covid 19 is in it’s second wave, and it runs rampant through Alberta (as many other places). Officially the word is that people are partying. This can be taken to be true … and stupid if understandable. There is likely more … also stupid and somehow some of it is less understandable.
Caution is thrown to the wind in so many ways in Alberta. Premier Kenny refuses to do more than make suggestions to people in order to stop the wave that is well on its way to overrunning the health care system. Cities and local governments have led the way mandating masks.
In Cold Lake nothing is mandated by the city. Stores with headquarters elsewhere have mandated masks and hand sanitizing upon entry. Guides are in place for physical distancing and in some stores for one way aisles. Nothing is done to mitigate aerosol transmission, which evidence shows is a likely path of transmission. That means unless huge volume air ventilation systems are in place an infected person can spread the virus in the air for 10 or more metres and leave the virus hanging in the air for hours.
The measures in place are of little use since there is no enforcement past the entrance doors. People remove their masks when they are away from the door, wear their masks so as to cover just their mouths or just their chins. People regularly touch their masks pulling them up or down and then touch products they do not buy. Everyone, store staff included, walk wherever they please, against the one way arrows, with no thought of physical distancing, regularly passing within inches of other people.
The majority of people speak volumes with their reckless behaviour, and their tolerance of other people’s reckless behaviour: they are ready to forfeit their life, or rather someone else’s life.
God created us to live as Jesus set the example: with grace forgiving, healing, and welcoming all people, sacrificing ourselves in order to bring other the abundance of life that God has provided for all people.
After SARS in Canada the recommendation for future pandemics was clear: the government should act quickly, decisively, and strictly, long before the evidence is in what the minimum is that is required. Immediate, maximum restrictions should have been in place long ago.
Now with the second wave, again slow minimal responses continue to be the norm, and the new case numbers are skyrocketing. Why the slow ineffective responses, last January and now this fall? Because the maximum restrictions cost the economy hugely, and it’s all about money for the rich, though the story now is that it robs ordinary people of their income. That it does. But a quick decisive response costs everyone less in the long term than slow minimal responses do!
Decisive maximum responses can cost politicians in the polls, but the record shows that lack of action, like Kenny’s, costs them more.
So why this slow, ineffective response?
Who is to profit from it? What kind of dictatorial interests are at play to trade people’s health and lives for their profit, power, and privilege?
Then one reads today: what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? or rather our lives. – Though we understand clearly to forfeit others lives is to forfeit everything about one’s own life that God created us to be: reflectors of Christ’s Light.
It is simply better to live with very little, fearing and loving God; than it is to live with a great deal of wealth, power, influence, status, and/or fame and have a great deal of trouble with it.
So what are we to do. Dr. Tam almost said it: We should do EVERY LITTLE THING we can think of to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and EVERYONE ELSE.
We are in this together, and the virus does not distinguish it’s victims according to wealth, power, influence, status, and/or fame. It just needs a live human, and healthy, young, minimally affected are the best for transmitting it to many others.
Every live human counts equally.
We are all in this together.
So let’s ALL start behaving like there are a lot of LITTLE THINGS we can do, and start doing them!
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’
This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Words of Grace For Today
Another Sci-Fi flick portrays the destruction of the human species, not quite by it’s own hand. An alien intelligence helps us along. Yet encountering a single, sort of good or at least good enough person, preserves her spirit, reincarnates her into an AI being and elevates that spirit to a new level, another dimension. The movie is boring, for all sorts of reasons, not least is that the move to a next level is in itself not interesting, nor effectively portrayed. How can it be?
Life is full of goodness, just because it is filled with challenges, hair falling out, birth of children (grandchildren if one is so blessed), losses and victories, getting wet and cold – and being comfortable and warm …. Life is good and interesting because it is embodied. It is mundane. It is vulgar and we strive to make it honourable and civilized.
Too many people assume that the thin veneer of civilization can be maintained even as they violate the basic sensibilities of respect and empathy for others that is at the heart of any good civilization. Out to get the most for themselves, they act as barbarians towards the truth, towards other people, and toward justice. When people with power start to create psuedo-realities that have little to nothing to do with reality, civilization teeters on the brink of chaos.
What follows history portrays often enough: we become barbarians, killing and maiming each other in order to survive and take the plunder for ourselves.
Courts that proceed based on blatant lies and allow people and lawyers complete latitude to kill others indirectly through the unjust results, invite more than insurrection. They invite the collapse of civilization.
The only thing that can save us is …
No, none of these save us. Only God’s Grace saves us. Only Grace received and then exercised for others can possibly rebuild civilization enough that it can withstand the onslaught to the social contract that awaits us, that is underway already by fools, idiots, and fanatical makers of ir-realities and chaos.
The Irish called it shenanigans. Leprechauns, playful beings, pull on the strings of daily events, disrupting the procession from morning to night to morning just enough to bring humour to our efforts to be in control at all, at all.
That’s not this kind of shenanigans. This is the kind perpetrated by the evil minded dwarfs that work to thwart life wherever and how ever they can. That kind of shenanigans is the kind that unseats civilizations and all the powers that exist in it.
Presidents, Prime Ministers, Rulers and Courts who play with dwarf-minded shenanigans work to unseat themselves. Either they need to be unseated sooner than later, or God needs to give us the miracle of double victories. First that the injustice stops and truth dictates the winners. Second that the liars and creators of ir-reality, even the Rulers themselves, are won over to live for goodness sake, with Grace and empathy for all people.
This is life, filled with Grace, that God created us to enjoy on our journeys. Eternal life is to know the God who created us, to fear and love God. And eternal life is to know Jesus, God’s only Son, who sacrificed himself so that we may indeed live, with God walking on our journeys with us.
Try as we may, there is no real goodness that comes out of us, ourselves. All goodness that seems to come from us, is the reflection and result of God’s Grace winding its way in and through us.
Thank God for Grace!
Please God save us; give us double victories, your miracles in these troubling times. Covid 19 does not make things worse, or people worse. It merely raises the stress so that who evil people are, and how dangerous our times are, become frightening clear.
God save us, all of us! We are all in this together!
Though someone is cutting them down left right and centre
as we are
these still stand
as we will always!
I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.
Words of Grace For Today
In this world the life of honesty and honour, of sacrificial and unconditional love, and of grace and hope is not rewarded by many. It is by many, even in the Courts, attacked and condemned with blood sport, lies and games with one’s life.
It is too often that striving to reflect the life the prophets called us to, to Jesus’ Way of being in the world, often leads us to the same end as he met: lies, injustice, cruelty, torture, and even death.
Met with this profound malfeasance we are readily able to say with Isaiah: We have laboured in vain, we have spent our strength for nothing and vanity. The work of the Devil meets our efforts to live graciously in response to God’s gift of life abundant. Seemingly the Devil wins every time.
Truth is otherwise. The Devil, all his works, and the people that do his deeds against us and so many others only show how lost and condemned those people are who follow his ways. They pronounce with lies that we are criminal, that we are vexatious, that we are unreliable. Their pronouncements do not reflect who we are, what we have done and not done. Their pronouncements reflect how corrupt they and all the liars are that bear false witness against good people like us.
They use their positions of power to create their own illogical, unreal bubble of existence. They dismiss scientists and science, logic and the laws of physics and other sciences (like gravity and toxicity), and the power of truth, love and hope. In their place they construct a world that serves their own greed, corrupt power, and decadent hedonism.
The devil’s miracle is that so many people accept this fantastical construction of ir-reality as if it were real, true, and valid. They construct religions of destruction of their enemies.
We hold to our faith in God who is all-powerful, Creator, and all-knowing. Our God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. By Grace alone (not by our merit) God forgives us our sin, adopts us as children, and empowers us to be the voice, hands, and feet of God’s own Son, Jesus, who gave his life to redeem us. Our faith does not condemn others. That is in God’s hands, and God’s alone. Our faith gives life, and promises life eternal to those who believe and accept the redemption worked out for them each day, each minute.
Therefore we are steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because we know that in the Lord our labour is not in vain.
Covid 19 has nothing on the destructive power of the Devil, his works and the people who do his deeds. By Grace we shall live with God walking with us and suffering with us everything done to us, even through all these trying times. Even if our bodies die, we shall live for God cannot be defeated, nor can we be separated from God.
Breathe as we are still able. These are blessed lives God accompanies us through.