How have you been holding up?
Getting by day to day can be challenging even in the best of times. Given how this year has gone, I’m sure that each of us has had moments of frustration, confusion, anxiety, and concern. It’s only natural. Remember though that God has been entirely faithful in providing for us during these times as He always will be (see Matt 6:25-34). Yes, some have lost jobs or are dealing with reduced work hours while others have faced illness or other challenges, but when you think of how our Lord lovingly cares for us day after day, one is better able to be reassured in our low points (Heb 4:16).
Not only that, but because of His sovereign grace in calling us as His children (Eph 2:8), we have had an incalculable debt paid by Christ Jesus on the cross. That grace unites us as brothers and sisters and the indwelt Holy Spirit enables us to represent Him to each other and a lost and dying world. Let us keep that in mind so it leads us to humility before the Lord and each other so we don’t repeat the act of the unforgiving servant (Matt 18:21-35) and instead bring Him glory:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 (ESV)
The application of this is readily available to us as we enter this next stage of loosening restrictions. It is great that we are now able to frequent restaurants, get our hair cut, and, most apropos, worship together but things are still far from ‘normal.’ Physical distancing, X’s on the ground, one-way indicators on shopping aisles, and face coverings are our current reality. We all long for things to truly be back to what we are accustomed to but for now (and some time), this is where the Lord has us. For RBC, our current Sunday experience requires fewer people in the sanctuary and face coverings for everyone. Even with those precautions, some are still at high-risk or low comfort-level which is why we’ve made such an effort to live stream Sunday worship. You may feel that others are over-/under-reacting and all of these steps and precautions are either too much or too little. Whatever your position, let us be sure we are showing grace to all: both believer and unbeliever, both family and friend, both neighbor and stranger.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)
In a world that is feeling more ungracious each day, let us all be a testimony to God’s wonderful grace bringing Him glory in every thought, word, and deed. Let’s look to Christ Jesus, our redeemer, as the perfect example of how we should act in a world that needs Him now more than ever before.
Seeking His glory,
Mike Peay, Lay elder