In this world of Essentials we have ..'Essential Oils' (5 quarts of motor oil?).. the 'Essential Van Morrison' album compilation, and during this last year while in Pandemic lockdown mode our government determined/MANDATED everything else that was 'essential'.
In a disturbing twist of irony our secular society determined essential businesses were liquor stores, and Planned Parenthood while church gatherings were too 'risky' aka non-essential. In some states you could buy 'weed' to smoke (essential) but could not buy 'weed killer' (non-essential) at the local garden center.
So I ponder what if Mother Theresa lived during this covid-19 'pandemic' in my home state of Minnesota? Would her orphanage and ministering to lepers be considered risky? And how about JESUS CHRIST.. Would Jesus wear a mask (WJWM)?
My sarcasm is obvious as I bristle not over the health risks of Covid but rather our Government's mandated overreach regarding the good, bad, & ugly list of essentials, non-essentials complete with social distancing guidelines.
During the pandemic I listened to a sermon snippet from a Pastor on Facebook. His message was "be prayerful & smart in our response to Coronavirus but remember our (the church) focus is on Revival not Survival."
Societies message is temporal and 'non-essential' . note: liquor stores and planned parenthood are so very not essential, but the
Gospel message is essential and filled with lasting hope for today and tomorrow.
So now after a year of the Gospel according to 'Zoom' I see church beginning to limp forward moving away from 'safety being our God' and our spiritual diet consisting of You-Tube sermons.
And while.. Zoom and streaming has it's place for most of us being together face to face in a full church worshiping God looking to God and not to be entertained is what church is called to be.
And worshipping with masks is a muted sad expression of what God intends and sounds more like a chorus of 'Charlie Brown's teachers' than a choir of angels.
So I choose not live in fear and believe the church is essential. I pray the world soon leaves their masks behind, and the 'next' COVID-19 like panic (I predict Climate Change) does does not become a social and political wedge dividing our society and the Essential CHURCH.
May God bless and use each of you in ways that are beyond your dreams.
May you feel His protection and love that transcends the fears of men, and their politics.
May our safety, life, revival and hope be found in His Words, His church, and not in a mask or overbearing 'big-brother' government mandate. AND..
May God's Essential Church have an uncompromised revival.
Jeff ( Essential Back Pew) Larson
This universe was born with the Big Bang as an unimaginably hot, dense point. When the universe was just 10-34 of a second or so old — that is, a hundredth of a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second in age — it experienced an incredible burst of expansion known as inflation, in which space itself expanded faster than the speed of light. During this period, the universe doubled in size at least 90 times, going from subatomic-sized to golf-ball-sized almost instantaneously.
- excerpt from Science.com article, June 6, 2017.
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Ecclesiastes 11:5
Today, I return to one of my favorite topics.. Our Great God! From the micro to the macro of all things with order and purpose is the handy-work of our Creator. I won't belabor the point, but the complexity of all things from the micro level to the ends of the universe declare their is a God.
Science is.. the finite study of what infinite God created.
Science examines.. the boundaries of time and space, while
God transcends.. both time and space.
To summarize for those scoring at home.. God is BIG, and we are not.
Then we turn on the evening news that spews stories of panic and where blind vitriolic hatred replaces reasonable discussions. There are wars and rumors of wars, political divide and anarchy like I can't remember. Until the last year I believed the sun was at the center of the universe, but the evening news between the years 2016-2020 the center of the universe is actually a dark star named Donald Trump. All stories somehow seem to include his name. WHO KNEW!
note: This was not statement about Donald Trump (pro or con) but just the rabid obsession of the evening news.
What is missing in all of this is our God. The creator of our universe needs to be the center of our universe, not POTUS, the Pope, your job, your favorite sports team (Go Pack Go!) or.. ME. Don't put your hope in any of these things or you will be disappointed.
Love the Lord God with all your soul, heart and mind and others as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
I repeat these words of Jesus often as this must be the returning starting point of each day. To lose focus in life of these two greatest commandments of Jesus will skew your day. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
Now let me take a moment to reflect on life with a proper perspective.
Now back to Earth in my home where I sit in my office chair. Our God is both so breathtakingly BIG, and also so very personal all at the same time. Is it possibly to fully grasp this truth? NO, but what other way could it be?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
So I leave today's ramble on two cups of coffee and on my way to a third cup with the prayer that our focus not be on this big world with it's big angst, but instead on our Amazing God the creator of all things, and the lover of you and me.
How can we help but love and serve Him. How can we help but pursue Him.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson