“Is anyone among you suffering? Let her pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise!” James 5:13
“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together! Now YOU are the body of Christ, and individually, members of it.” I Corinthians 12:26-27
I smiled warmly, as did many of you, the last couple of times the kids from Taste of Immokalee came to sell chips and salsa in time for Superbowl Sunday. I smiled when one a tall young fellow stood at the lectern and greeted us with “Good morning, church!” Oh, yes, that’s us!
Church in Naples. Church in Immokalee. Church in Wuhan. Church in Milan. Church all over the world. We’re not exempt from COVID. We’re not immune from suffering. The word “church” in Greek is “ekklesia.” Literally, it means those who are “called out.” We share in the sufferings of our world. Instead of hate, resentment, and complaining, we are “called out” to bring love, compassion, and acceptance.
I’ve heard people speak harshly and bitterly about other countries and how this is “all their fault.” I’ve even heard people rail against the Big Apple. I know people have been verbally assaulted for being outside of their home. All this is based on fear. But “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and sanity.” Because no one knows the extent of this worldwide suffering, we must pray for patience, not just for ourselves, but for the whole Body of Christ around the world. In the spirit of encouragement, I want to share a six minute musical production with you that I found to be quite uplifting, especially in these times. I hope you enjoy it as we begin a new week. Confession: It’s not classical organ music. Also, it is from Youtube, so pardon the inevitable advertisement that precedes it.
Rev. Dr. David Kaiser-Cross
Today, we pray for those who live in fear for themselves or their loved ones, that they would trust God and know that sickness, even death, never has the final word.
Lord and Savior of all who claim a place in your Body in this world, grant us your Spirit this week, that we would live each day with patience, kindness, and compassion. Amen.