Friday March 27, 2020
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
I have never liked crowds, but for some reason, when I’m at large outdoor concerts, they don’t bother me. I tend to ignore the other people, and just focused with the people that I am with, and the music that is playing, and I get by. But the best concerts are not always the ones with the best sound, or even the best bands; the best concerts are the ones that make an impact on you and the people that you’re with. Sometimes this impact is just because the music is really good, sometimes its just because it was a lot of fun, but the really good concerts are the ones that inspire you to do something.
For a few years in a row in my teen years, I went to one of the largest outdoor Christian Music festivals in the country with a church group that I was connected with. I listened to some of the bands I saw, but the experience was much more than the music. For several days, I was surrounded by people I loved, I listened to motivational and encouraging music and special speakers, and on the last night the whole ‘audience’ lit candles and took communion. There were around 100,000 people there on the last night.
Those concert experiences had a drastic impact on my life for a few weeks and months afterwards. I was more into my faith, mor positive in general, and I kept wanting to go back.
But soon, the excitement faded as everyday life crept in.
When we pray, we remind ourselves that we have a God who listens to us and is able to help us through anything.
When we read the Bible, we remind ourselves that our faith is all about a story; a story of God caring for and guiding God’s people through many hardships and many joys.
When we gather to worship God together, even if its through a virtual service, we remind ourselves that we are part of a community of different people who are all seeking the one true God.
When we say the historic Creeds of the faith, or when we say The Lord’s Prayer, we are joining Christians around the globe and throughout time in worshiping our God.
In the everyday worries and stress of this crisis, in the times of bad news or fears, it will be easy to abandon the parts of our faith that inspire us with the strength to overcome fear. I will be easy to abandon a faith that provides true empathy and hope in the midst of suffering.
And so, while praying and reading, and listening to services may all provide you with an opportunity to engage with God and with the Church, strive to make those times inspiring for you. Take those times seriusly by prioritizing them in your life – like taking medicine for the soul.
At a time such as this, we cannot let our perception of the power of our faith fade from our sight, and from our lives.
May you all be blessed.
Look for the next devotional on monday, and tune in to see our Sunday Service any time 8am and after, here: