Colossians 2:5--“For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.”
Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
We miss being together and hopefully we will see the smiles and experience the reunion we all look for soon. As we plan, there are some things I can share already.
We will practice social distancing and encourage the use of masks. However, I want us to be mindful that distancing and masking should not make us less connected. Inevitably, we will feel more distant to others because of this separation. This becomes the ideal time to learn social skills for respecting and being sensitive to others. We will be extremely anxious to embrace one another and shake each others’ hands. But caution requires we still avoid touching. Distancing after such a long time will require discipline.
Here’s the thought of the day. I wonder how distant we have been with God. Have we enforced a sort of social distancing with our relationship with God or have we grown closer? This distancing can teach us the need we have to respect the otherness of God. In our social world today we have treated God with familiarity. But even so, we should guard against dismissing the transcendent nature of God. His thoughts are higher than ours and so are His plans. Use this time to respect the God who created the world along with you and me. The otherness of God is like a friend you haven’t seen in many weeks. You know you love them and they love you. Yet respect what distancing means, you stay six feet from them and verbally you let them know you are for them.
Sometimes, all we have for the Lord is our love and respect though He gave you everything. Those on the front lines of the virus in the medical field can attest to the ability to love from a distance. When those in the family of patients who are dying from the virus were kept from their family members, the medical staff became the family who loved them. They loved their patients even from a distance, not being their family. We’ve seen the images of those who stand at the window with signs to say, “I love you” to their loved ones in nursing homes. It’s sending a card every day to a loved one you are prevented from being near. Love in transcendence is still love.
Today more than ever we should love God though we may be distant from Him at times. We should find ways to love Him when He seems far from us. He loved us when He sought us for fellowship and we, human beings, disobeyed him. Obedience delivers the love message at a distance. When you want to love God, say it with obedience to the laws of God and love for your fellow human beings. These translate as love for God even at a distance. Love God and your neighbor as yourself. Make it worth His hearing, seeing, and feeling.
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