Well, it’s Sunday again. At least that’s what my cell phone and my calendar tell me – it is Sunday. Sundays just aren’t the same right now. Church has gone online along with everything else. The whole world has gone online and on lock down. It is an online world right now. I’m not sure which is more real to me at the moment – the world outside my own front door or the world I view on YouTube?
everything seems altered in some way, even my vocabulary has new words which I hear and use daily now. So I might as well confess that there is a phrase that I never want to hear again. Can you guess what it might be? It is the ever present, overused, inescapable words “flatten the curve.” I don’t think it is possible to go even an hour without hearing those words right now.
Along with that phrase is the currently all important word “essential.” We now have “essential” and “non-essential” businesses, “essential” and “non-essential” travel, “essential” and “non-essential” surgeries and medical care, “essential” and “non-essential” work, etc. The whole world seems to divide along these lines. But I want to know, who is deciding what is “essential” and what is “non-essential”?
In my state physical therapy is non-essential. I know of some states in which physical therapy is an essential service. Should I cross state lines if I am in need of this service? And if I do, would that be considered essential travel because it is for an essential purpose or service?
What is essential anyway? We have all lost a lot of things lately, things that we thought were essential. Are we learning what truly is essential and what we can live without?
In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 I get an answer to this question of “what is essential?” “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Is “essential” simply the difference between what is temporary and what is eternal? We have all lost a lot of “seen” temporary things during this time. But what about the “unseen” losses? They are much harder to measure. How do we measure what the Declaration of Independence called our unalienable rights, given to us by our Creator, including the rights “to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? Are they now lost to us forever?
There is something “essential” and unseen and eternal that cannot be taken from us. Peter tells us as much in 1 Peter 1:3-6,
“In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”
Today, even though it feels like Groundhog Day all over again to me, I will say along with the Psalmist,
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us (I will) rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
I will echo the words of Psalm 100:4-5, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
This day, this Sunday, today I am eagerly waiting for the Sunday to come when I can say, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1)
While I wait in eager expectation for that day when our houses of worship will once again throw open their doors, I cry out with the Psalmist of Psalm 24:7-10, as he wails in longing for that day to come,
“Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – He is the King of glory.”
Corona virus cannot keep You out, O Lord of glory, Lord of my heart. Enter in today, Lord of glory – enter into every human, hurting, hopeful heart. The doors of our churches may be closed, but may You find the doors of my heart, the doors of every human heart wide open to let You in, O Lord of glory!
sincerely, Grace Day