Oct 8, 2020

   

Carstairs-Bancroft United Church

October 8, 2020

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT

DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

By Rev. Maria Szabo Berces

Source: Our Daily Bread

Beloved Carstairs Bancroft United Church Members,

The question in the Our Daily Bread devotion gained a new light as I recently watched a documentary film titled: “A LIFE ON OUR PLANET” by David Attenborough.

If you happen to have NETFLIX, I strongly recommend to take time and to watch it. The last few slides of this film states: “This film is David Attenborough’s witness statement. Who else need to see it?” Well, I think we all should see it; especially our children and grandchildren, whose life could be greatly impacted by the prognosis of Sir Attenborough.

In the young person’s view below “We’re no more than teeny, tiny, infinitesimal blips on the timeline of history.” And it is true that a single person’s lifetime “quickly passes” – as Moses put it. But unfortunately, humanity managed to drove this blue pearl planet to the verge of destruction in just 200 years, compared to the millions of years of its history. What will happen in the next few decades depends on us, and the following generations. This year made some people think that we are reaching the ends of time. Something might be right about this reasoning: in case we don’t change the way of our lives, we might be the ones who bring these end times upon ourselves.

Although it is a beautiful planet, which used to be full with a wonderous variety of life, and still we can stand in awe as the sun shines through golden leaves, or we spot a rainbow, the Scriptures prepare us for the finiteness of this creation. As Jesus teaches his disciples: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

What shall we do with this information? Doesn’t it add to our worries and anxiety? It probably does, if we hear only this part from what Jesus came to tell us. Because there is an even more important part of this intel: God is everlasting, and in love the Holy One would like to share this eternity with us.

As one of the most quoted Bible passages states it: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

Yes, we might be “teeny, tiny” and our lives might count like a blink of an eye compared to this planet’s history. But Jesus came to tell us this: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7) So, what do we do with this information? May God “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Plasms 90:12)

Grace and Peace to You All,

Rev. Maria

 

Do We Matter?

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14

READ PSALM 90:1–2, 10–17

For some months now I’ve been corresponding with a young man who’s thinking deeply about faith. On one occasion he wrote, “We’re no more than teeny, tiny, infinitesimal blips on the timeline of history. Do we matter?”

Moses, Israel’s prophet, would agree: “Our days . . . quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). The brevity of life can worry us and cause us to wonder if we matter.

We do. We matter because we’re deeply, eternally loved by the God who made us. In this poem, Moses prays, “Satisfy us . . . with your unfailing love” (v. 14). We matter because we matter to God.

We also matter because we can show God’s love to others. Though our lives are short, they’re not meaningless if we leave a legacy of God’s love. We’re not here on earth to make money and retire in style, but to “show God” to others by showing them His love.

And finally, though life here on earth is transient, we’re creatures of eternity. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we’ll live forever. That’s what Moses meant when he assured us that God will “satisfy us in the morning with [His] unfailing love.” On that “morning” we’ll rise to live and love and be loved forever. And if that doesn’t create meaning, I don’t know what does. – By David H. Roper

 

REFLECT & PRAY

I’m grateful, loving God, that I matter to You. Help me to share You with others. Amen.

When have you struggled with wondering if your life counts? How does Psalm 90 help?

 

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

More psalms are attributed to David (seventy-three) than any other writer. Asaph, David’s worship leader, comes in second with twelve, followed by the sons of Korah with eleven. Other known writers include Solomon, Ethan, Heman, and Moses. Psalm 90 is the only psalm attributed to Moses. Its superscription states: “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” He wrote this psalm (and some suggest the anonymous psalm that follows) in the wilderness as he led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to freedom in the promised land of Canaan. That makes Psalm 90 the oldest poem in the book. Its theme speaks of the brevity of our life as contrasted with the eternal nature and majesty of God. It’s important to note that Moses also wrote the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, while in the desert.  – By Alyson Kieda

Used with permission