Have you been watching YouTube and Facebook and Messenger the way me and my family have? We’ve seen all kinds of things, mostly bad. However, as you know, there are also some things that have been happening that are really good. (Put a smiley face here!)
As you have probably noticed, sometimes the lockdown has caused families to have to be together more. Many have enjoyed this. I heard of one family in our county that got off Facebook altogether, and have begun having family reunion dinners the first Sunday of every month. What a novel idea!
Speaking of Facebook. I think, if people are like me, that the type of post that people really enjoy is a story or video showing people doing “random acts of kindness,” or just putting everything else aside to jump in and become a hero for someone in trouble. We have also seen people doing things in their neighborhood like playing bagpipes at a certain time in the afternoon for the enjoyment of their locked-down neighbors. We’ve seen people delivering groceries and other items to people stuck in their homes.
The environment even benefitted, as people noticed the amount of smog over cities became less. Though that will probably change back, it was good for a while. I wonder if people will go back to their old ways or if they will retain their new habits of hygiene, such as washing their hands more often.
Children, as well as adults, have had opportunities to be patient. My 6-year-old grandson has not been able to go to the PlayPlace at McDonald’s, to children’s church, to a movie, to a friend’s house to play or to enjoy having his own birthday party. Hopefully, this will turn out to be a good thing, as we all need to learn to be more patient.
We have definitely begun to appreciate our children’s teachers more. Most of us have become aware of how difficult it is to teach multiple subjects, handling all the online confusion as well as the children themselves, while trying to cover everything required for each child. My heart goes out to teachers having to teach through their masks all day, and students having to wear masks while trying to see their teachers’ faces. Awful! Let’s really pray for them all. Again, it is good how we now appreciate all the school personnel more.
One thing that has really impacted me, with all the political unrest going on, is how it has made me see, and made me want others to see, how much we have to be thankful for in this country. This is the greatest country in the world, with people still wanting to come here, even while some are trying to burn it down. A really great outcome of all of this is that I keep hearing more and more people talking about how they are grateful for how the American dream is still alive—a person can go from poverty in one generation to “prosperity” in the next. And, of course, another aspect of this is that America is the most generous nation in the world, which is truly wonderful.
But the best things I think that have been happening during the past few months have to do with how God has been blessing the efforts of His servants, as they try in all sorts of ways to feed their flocks and spread the gospel, seeing souls saved. We all know of how online church has been both difficult yet rewarding for many pastors and congregations. One reward has been that we could all enjoy hearing other pastors from our area preach online.
God is using this mess, as He always does. I saw where one church went to the aisles of Walmart in N. Versailles, Pa., to hold their church service. God bless them! Another church in Huntington Beach, Calif., had church on the beach. I’m sure there were many more doing similar things.
In our area, we have not seen stringent government restrictions set upon our churches. In other states, such as California or Oregon, churches have taken to the streets. Worship leader Sean Feucht (pronounced Foyt) was holding online worship services, which was taken down by Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. He had been largely focused on missions abroad until the pandemic. He explained, “I felt like the Lord said, ‘Focus on your nation for the sake of your children, you know, fight for America,’ and so that’s what we’ve been doing.” He began going into the streets holding worship services, which have quickly become revival!
Feucht, with long blonde curls, but married with four Bible-named children, calls it the “Let Us Worship” movement, but in at least one place, Portland, Oregon, it was called “Riots to Revival.” In Seattle, Washington, at the same time anarchists were holding down several blocks, Feucht and his crowd were a few streets over, singing, praying, and worshiping God. At one point this summer, 7000 Christians cried out to God in the streets of San Diego, California, for America. Feucht declared, “What was intended as a peaceful protest became a revival moment as many people gave their lives to Christ and got baptized!”
In August this group took revival to New Jersey, Boston, and New York City, where they baptized people in the fountains at Washington Square Park. These fountains had been turned off for months but, providentially, were turned on right before they held their meeting. Feucht said, “After a crazy, joyful worship set, racial reconciliation and a salvation call, we marched over to the fountain last night. The NYPD let us go for it, too!”
Then he headed back to California to hold outdoor meetings in several cities there. Having been in Seattle August 9, they were scheduled to do another service in a park there on Labor Day; however, the city shut down the park, even installing fencing around it. Feucht told of how they then decided to go to the streets, saying, “We called it a worship protest, so now technically it’s legal.” Since then, 12,000 people gathered in front of the capital in Sacramento, California, for another worship service with the Let Us Worship movement. They have held more than twenty of these events, with one planned for Washington, D.C., on October 25, 2020.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote a book entitled Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” In His Word, our heavenly Father emphasized the concept of church unity. Seems to me that there is a coming together of ideas here. Unity, community, communication—all lead to the opposite of chaos, which is order. Order brings peace, which is godly, lovely, and joyful. Let us pray and strive for these concepts, along with expressing gratitude for God’s loving care of us at all times, but especially during these trials in our blessed country, the United States of America.
Live for Jesus! He’s coming soon!
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