We continue to journey through this pandemic that has disrupted our lives these past number of months. We are encouraged to listen to those in authority. In Manitoba we have not been hit as hard as those in other parts of the country. I think we did a great job listening, trusting and obeying the directives brought down by our health experts. Cable news continues to report of countries throughout the world where leaders take it upon themselves to be the expert and open their communities too quickly. They don’t seem to be listening to the health experts and Problems Occur!
We are coming closer to opening our church buildings for public worship as each phase to open our province continues. I so look forward to that day! However, we need to continue to trust and obey the directives of the Province and our own Diocesan leadership. There still remains a couple of hurdles to get over:
Those over 65 permitted to come to large gatherings.
Allowing more than 25 people to attend gatherings
We rely on the experts to help us with handling this Corona Virus. But, maybe more importantly our obedience and trust does not lie solely with the experts; it lies with God.
We self-isolate and we keep our social distance from one another because of the Great Command to love God and to Love our neighbours.
Our trust and obedience comes in obeying God’s command to love our neighbour. Therefore, we take opening of our buildings very seriously! The Corporation and the Vestry are working hard to set forth protocols to make this happen when the green light is finally given by the Bishop.
This morning I am reminded of a verse from an Old Evangelical hymn written by John Sammis in the early 1900’s. He wrote:
Not a burden we bear, Not a sorrow we share
But our toil He doth richly repay.
Not a grief nor a loss, not a frown nor a cross
But is blest if we trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be
happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
These past weeks, our lectionary readings speak of two people who trusted and obeyed. Abraham and Matthew. For they trusted and obeyed; for there was no other way!
For many there is probably no harder thing to do in life than to step out in faith and respond to the words of Jesus, “come follow me”. There was certainly many in Jesus day who refused the invitation, as there is today. Trust and obey, not always easy words to respond to.
There is a story told of King George III. One day George had been looking at a plate which was brought from Hanover. He noticed the Latin inscription on the plate: “I trust in my sword”, an inscription that had been coined by George II.
George III said to one of his aids: The inscription says “I trust in my sword”, but I didn’t like that inscription very much so when I was made king it was changed to read: “I trust in the truth of the Christian religion.”
We often place our trust in many things, places, people, money, even weapons of power and destruction. But they all fail at some time or another. It is only when we trust in God and obey his voice that we are able to have total security. And God said to Abraham: “by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” Trust and obey for there’s no other way!