May 4th-9th, 2020

Monday May 4th, a thought from Dwight Swanson

A time to embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

We have been meeting up with our family via video, like many people I suppose. We haven’t seen our youngest grandchild, Zephyr, since Christmas. We talk to him most days, and watch him grow rapidly. And every time we want to give him a big hug; and his sister and brother; and his mother and father. We have tended to give our House Group family hugs as they arrive at our house. The Passing of the Peace on Sundays is a time to give hugs to people as an expression our love in Christ.

But all of this is not possible right now. Not because we no longer love each other, but because we continue to love each other—and because we do not want to endanger our loved ones’ health and lives. This is the time to refrain from hugging. Oh, but when the time for hugging returns…

Tuesday May 5th, a thought from Nicole McConkey

Last month I participated in a daily Biblelettering Challenge. The passages were assigned for each day and the task was to hand letter the verse. Although without any skills in calligraphy, I’ve always loved handwriting. So, I tried, every day, to find ways to write out the passage suggested. Those were my self-care moments. There is something peaceful about writing out a Bible verse. Many times, if felt like balm to the soul, a time of prayer without spoken words, maybe simply being in the presence of God, dwelling, abiding in his presence. As my mind feels torn and pulled into many directions, I need that grounding time in my day.

Wednesday May 6th, a thought from Sandra Brower

I’ve been ruminating on Aisha Ahmad’s article on productive pressure ever since I read it in early April. She urged people to resist the kind of busyness that fails to make the mental shift to our new reality. For many, longing for busyness to return, that might be possible. Others are working flat out, and putting in longer hours than they have had for a long time. They would like to stop and reflect, but in the blink of an eye the clock strikes five (and the to-do list still looms large). There are always extremes when it comes to people’s experience of something, and this time is no different. Fitting into the second category myself, I’m not sure when I’ll have the space to make the mental shift that I’m all too aware I need to make. Perhaps today we can take a moment to think about someone in the opposite circumstance to us, and hold them up in prayer. No matter who we are or what our situation is, we all need prayer right now. 

Thursday May 7th, a thought from Francine Brower

A poem by Warsan Shire written after the Paris bombing in 2015 ends with these words, ‘later that night I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered ‘where does it hurt?’ It answered, ‘everywhere, everywhere.’

Our church represents such diversity from across the globe. One of the unique aspects of Covid-19 is that it has wrapped itself around every nation and as we struggle with our own social distancing and self-isolation we also worry about our extended families, friends and colleagues – the world is hurting everywhere.

How often do we comment on our thankfulness for technology and the joy of connecting with those both near and far during the current crisis? As Christians, we also connect and support through prayer, remembering those we love, those who are struggling, grieving, longing for life to return to the routine we used to know.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

(Philippians 4:6-7)

Friday May 8th, a thought from Nicole McConkey

But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31)

Lord, today we pray for those in our midst who are weary, worn out and tired. We look to you for renewed strength at the start of this day.
For those who return from night shift, we pray you would grant them refreshing sleep.
For the ones on their way to work, that you would whisper into their ear “I’m with you.”
For the overwhelmed with deadlines in work we pray for clear thoughts.
For the ill and those recovering we pray you would breathe hope and life.
Embrace the lonely, give patience to the parents and children, let us love well today.
We commit this day into your hands, in the name of Jesus.


Saturday May 9th, a thought from Colin McConkey

have been coping pretty well with lock down in general probably because I get out of the house with my job (although that has it challenges as well).   However last week I hit a wall and just found the whole thing overwhelming (the next day I was ok).  

I feel blessed to have church on Sunday over Zoom and seeing real people in a virtual sense.  However I was reflecting on one aspect that I miss.   It’s the real life contact before and after the service.  Those moments where you can have conversations with people.  Those more personal conversations that you have because you care what’s happening in their lives.  

My heart longs for the time we can do that again.  

I am reminded of Psalm 42:11:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.