Meditations


Time with Pastor Tina

  1. Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. – Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Jesus added a second one, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” --Mark 12:28-31

Grace to you and peace:

Times have changed. Questions and uncertainties swirl among us as we work to find a “new normal” amid Covid-19. Questions like: How will we do things, why are we doing them, and when are we doing them all require thought and planning.

 It also requires that we work together to keep our church a safe space in which to worship. The six-feet social distancing guidelines seem odd, especially at church where we were used to receiving and giving hugs and handshakes. Recently, as I ventured out for groceries and some necessary shopping, I was VERY conscious whenever I came near other shoppers. I found myself not only looking for the store’s “Stand Here” floor markers but I remembered that most floor tiles are usually 12”x12”. So, I tried to measure my own by counting six tiles between me and the person in front of me when the line was longer than the marks on the floor allowed. In church, the pews are marked with a green tab to show worshippers where to sit. This still allows families and partners to sit together. And, there are arrows on the floor to guide the flow of entry and exit from the church.

 Then, there are the facemasks which are required.  If you do not have one, the usher will give you one.  There are some who believe or feel, “I don’t need to wear a mask. It’s against my rights as an American.”  Hmmm.  I need to ask you, what about when your “rights” infringe upon the “rights” of those at greatest risk for Covid-19, who choose to come and be physically present for worship?

I often hear people ask, “Why did God let this happen?” Here is my response, “God blessed humanity with the gift of “free-will.” When one person’s “free-will” strongly collides with the “free-will” of another person—sin can rear its ugly head and the potential for “bad things” to happen is born.

As the people of God at Salem Lutheran, we say whenever we gather to worship that, “We are called to “Share God’s love with our neighbors, through God’s word, our witness, and our actions.” Sharing God’s love, usually means putting the well-being of others before self.

In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy chapter 6:4-5, We read, Hear, O Israel.” Now, before we go further, insert your name instead of Israel. Hear, O ______.” The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

In the New Testament, Jesus shares a version of the greatest commandment in ALL four gospels. He includes a second one with it, Hear, O _____: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” --Mark 12:28-31

Wearing a mask and social distancing create a safe place for worshippers to worship. It fulfills, these commandments and Salem’s purpose to: Share God’s love with our neighbors, through God’s word, our witness, and our actions.”

 

In Christian love,

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