1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
I was at the gas station doing my standard fill up. The lines were considerably short, being all the restrictions from both the nation and state due to the threat of the Coronavirus, COVID-19. Our state and county have asked we stay at home unless it is necessary to go out. So, I was out getting needed groceries and gas for the car. At the gas pump, it is normally a quick process and people do not usually connect. But on this occasion, I could tell the person using the pump across from me wanted to connect and engage in conversation. They kept looking my way as if trying to catch my attention. They even did one of those thinking out loud moments, where if no one responded to what was said, it would not seem too awkward. But I chose to step in and responded, and they turned my way with wide eyes and we started chatting for the duration of the fill up. As I pulled away, I thought how nice they wanted to interact for we talked about the crisis and how we will get through this and laughed about how crazy life has gotten. As well, that night I was on the phone, canceling some hotel reservations. A wedding we were going to attend was canceled. The hotel person also just wanted to talk. I just asked how she was doing and the conversation took off as she expressed the ups and down of her day and all this crisis was bringing out.
This spread of this virus is scary and there is a lot of anxiety and fear as so much has changed. Parents have become home school teachers, in-class teachers have had to shift teaching to distant learning, churches are trying to figure out how keep church personal, how to live stream worship gatherings and face a new paradigm of ministry, weddings and memorial services have been canceled, some people have lost their jobs, many are learning how to work from home doing online meetings, others are juggling working from home and child care, others are shut in and lonely, and trying to buy toilet paper has become the new treasure hunt. It’s all different and difficult. However, in all this, people want to connect, they want to engage, they want to have a conversation. In crisis, it’s really important to stay in contact with others. We do need our fellow humans. It helps relieve some of the pressure from all this change. Our emotions are like a carbonated beverage, and with all his upheaval and stress and worry and change, we are shaken up. What happens when we pop open a shaken up can or bottle of soda? It erupts. We can do the same if we are not talking connecting with others and talking about what we are experiencing. See, crisis contact is important.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
See, we may be just what that person needs to release some of that emotional pressure.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Of course, the meeting together needs to be with the appropriate social distancing (6ft), or virtually, or with a call, but we need to connect. We need some crisis contact. So, look for opportunities to contact others. Maybe call some old friends, get a list of people from your church, club, school, or office and contact them. Use email, Facetime, or texts. More than ever we need to take the initiative and contact others.
Church is a great source of help in times like these. Many churches have moved their gatherings to ‘live streamed’ services. If you don’t already have an online Sunday church gathering, we would like to invite you to Neighborhood Church/Cypress Church (same church, same heart, just a new name). We have three campuses; our website has all the information you would need in addition to up-to-date information due to the Coronavirus or COVID-19. Every Sunday we learn from the Bible and seek to know God more. Here is the link to our live-streaming services (see http://live.cypresschurch.net/). As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAAnydFWXczn8A6cjzqQ0ag
We will get through this and your willingness to have some crisis contact will help!