Good Monday morning church! Today is a first for our family. Both boys are doing online schooling from home. Bonnie and I are both working from home at our desks. Needless to say, we are grateful for a good internet connection, and for noise cancelling headphones! (Yes, there is a purpose to the picture above.)
Really? Cancelling out noise?
Yes! If you’ve never tried a pair, it’s quite the experience. I won’t try and figure out how it all works (something about low frequency noise that gets inverted and results in sounds cancelling each other out), but I do know that it is extremely helpful when I’m on a Zoom call, the boys are on a school lesson, and Bonnie is working as well. In terms of being able to focus on my work, my headphones are a real asset.
This got me thinking…
And what does this have to do with spiritual matters? Good question. Last night I had the thought that a time like we are currently experiencing might actually help us filter out some “noise” that can regularly distract us from God. Think about it. Most of us are home much more than typical. Many of us have (unfortunately) lost work. We are all asked to practice social distancing. We’ve been forced to “slow down” in many ways. So, what are you doing with this time?
Are you keeping your life “noisy” despite the change of pace? The phone is always on, social media is checked regularly, no news update goes un-watched, Netflix is binged, etc. Here’s my challenge for this week: cancel out the noise and focus on Easter!
“Be still and know that I am God.”
I can give you many suggestions in terms of how to focus on God. Find a good daily devotional. Memorize scripture. Journal. Fast. All of these are good options when not simply approached as a task to accomplish.
This week we’ve invited the congregation to consider fasting from Thursday evening until Friday noon. Will you join us? Some of you (if you are able) may consider fasting from food. Others may consider fasting from social media, or the news, or something else. Whatever it may be, the challenge is to spend this time with Jesus. Be still. Listen. Talk to God. Listen. Pray.
Here’s my commitment. From Thursday at 5:00pm until our Good Friday service, I will not be on any social media or news sites. I plan to read Mark 11-15 as well as listen to Mark 11-15. I am committing to simply sitting quietly with Jesus for a 30-minute stretch. What will you do? Please consider sharing about your experiences.
Let’s filter out the noise and prepare to celebrate Good Friday and Easter well!
Faith Not Fear
The following is the challenge our guest speaker shared yesterday. Perhaps you’ll find it helpful to read it again.
I wish to give you a practical assignment this week. We likely have more time being at home than we usually have had.
- Make a list of the struggles and difficulties you are currently facing.
- Spend some time identifying why each of these things causes you to be fearful.
- Spend time with the Lord and intentionally cast your fears upon him – naming each one.
- Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see the unseen/eternal perspective regarding what you are experiencing.
- Choose one struggle you are currently facing and share it with a trusted friend how you are choosing faith, not fear. Pray for each other.