Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
I Corinthians 16:13
Paul is wrapping up his first letter to the church at Corinth. He sums up his directives in these words from verse 13. It seems to me that this would be a good verse for all of us to memorize during this time of separation.
I had an experience the other night that I am guessing will be familiar to many of you. I was getting ready to go up to bed and I could not find my phone. I checked the sofa cushions, the kitchen counter, and the dining room table. I dumped out my whole purse. I went through my backpack where I keep my work things. I even checked the garbage. Ken grabbed my iPad and went to the “where is my phone” app and it said that it was very near Seeger Road which is the street that runs across the front of our home. We tipped over the couch and found such a mess that we were vacuuming after midnight, but still no phone! As I was looking through and around things, I pulled open a drawer in the side table by the couch. You guessed it! The phone was right there. I have never put the phone in that drawer. I have no memory of putting the phone there! In these days of pandemic, everything runs together. Keeping alert can be a challenge!
Paul’s directive to the Corinthians and to us to “keep alert, stand firm in your faith” is something that we all need to consider. Days of sameness, mostly spent indoors can lead to becoming passive and indifferent. Yet, God is still at work in our midst and in our very own lives. Keep alert. What can we be paying attention to in these days? How can we begin to get ready for things to re-open? We can stand firm in our faith with study of scripture and prayer and meditation. We can reach out to other members of our congregation to check in. As we begin to re-acclimate to being together, a certain amount of strength and courage will be called for from each of us. As always, we are to do everything in love.
Be alert. Stand firm. Be courageous and strong. Love. Watch words of our faith. Watch words in this pandemic.