We Live In Interesting Times
The Pastor’s Ruminations during the Coronavirus, COVID19

May 16, 2020

My headline for this column has been “We Live in Interesting Times.” I brought this up March 8, the last Sunday we met together at church. The expression “may you live in interesting times” was (apparently) a Chinese curse!

We’re in interesting times. My delight has been to hear from or about so many who are turning these times into times of blessing.

I have been puzzled about how we have had no requests for financial help. I was reminded yesterday of just what I said above. So many people are “helping one another” that benevolence is being accomplished by the Body “bearing one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). I tell you again, however, we do have help for you if and when you need it, both monetary and food. Thank you though, for “doing good and sharing with one another” (Hebrews 13:16).

Our church service tomorrow is based around II Corinthians 4. Read it before hand and think on it. We will cover the first 12 verses tomorrow and the last verses next Sunday.

I am asked numerous times weekly “when will we meet together again?” Soon! The Elders meet Monday night next. This will be a primary item on our agenda. Various things enter into the decision that must be taken into account. So, I won’t give you a date, but will assure you again, SOON.

Tomorrow we will sing “It is Well With My Soul” together. This song was written after Horatio Spafford’s four year old son had died, he had lost all his possessions in the Chicago fire (1871) and after his four daughters died when the ship they were taking to Europe sank. One thing I have reminded us about repeatedly in these 10 weeks is “perspective.” With that background, join us in singing together. It is number 573 in your hymnal.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Here are two other verses Mr. Spafford wrote that are not in our hymnal:

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

This is the song the Set Apart Quarantined Social Distance Quartet will sing:

Good Shepherd of My Soul
by Keith and Kristen Getty, Fionán de Barra and Stuart Townend

Good Shepherd of my soul
Come dwell within me.
Take all I am and mould
Your likeness in me.
Before the cross of Christ
This is my sacrifice:
A life laid down
And ready to follow.

The troubled find their peace
In true surrender.
The prisoners their release
From chains of anger.
In springs of living grace
I find a resting place
To rise refreshed,
Determined to follow.

I'll walk this narrow road
With Christ before me
Where thorns and thistles grow
And cords ensnare me.
Though doubted and denied
He never leaves my side
But lifts my head
And calls me to follow.

And when my days are gone
My strength is failing
He'll carry me along
Through death's unveiling
Earth's struggles overcome
Heav'n's journey just begun
To search Christ's depths
And ever to follow.