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Corona Virus and the Lord's Prayer

Hi Table View Methodist Family,

This coming Sunday we continue our journey toward Lent as we reflect on Matthew 26 & 27:



This Sunday we read Matthew 26 verses 31-46 and reflect on Jesus' prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.  We will meet again on Wednesday 11 March at 7pm to discuss Jesus' prayer.

Corona Virus and The Lord's Prayer

As if the world didn't have enough to worry about we are now also worried about the Corona Virus.  I don't know much about virology and medicine but I've learned a few things from the media reports.  The first is that most people who get the Corona virus will survive it and some will get it and survive it without even showing severe symptoms.

Those with preexisting conditions and compromised immune systems are most at risk.  So these are some precautions that we should take:
1 - Take care of your immune system:  Eat well (especially your veges).  Rest enough.  Manage your stress levels.
2 - Wash your hands properly and regularly - this is where the Lord's prayer comes in.  It takes about 10 seconds to say the Lord's prayer so, as you wash your hands so say it quietly to yourself twice.
3 - Adopt fist bumping etc. instead of kissing, hugging and hand shaking.
 
(At church we won't be holding hands during the benediction and I will gladly fist bump you on the way out.) 
PS - I am perfectly happy to hug and shake hands with anyone who wants to because I am quite fit and healthy.  I don't like kisses 👄 and I never know what to do with the thing where people rub cheeks...


Christian Response to Plagues and Diseases in the Past

From the ChristianPost.com
Between 250 and 270 A.D. a terrible plague, believed to be measles or smallpox, devastated the Roman Empire. At the height of what came to be known as the Plague of Cyprian, after the bishop St. Cyprian who chronicled what was happening, 5,000 people died every day in Rome alone. 
The plague coincided with the first empire-wide persecution of Christians under the emperor Decius. Not surprisingly, Decius and other enemies of the Church blamed Christians for the plague. That claim was, however, undermined by two inconvenient facts: Christians died from the plague like everybody else and, unlike everybody else, they cared for the victims of the plague, including their pagan neighbors. 
This wasn't new—Christians had done the same thing during the Antonine Plague a century earlier. As Rodney Stark wrote in "The Rise of Christianity," Christians stayed in the afflicted cities when pagan leaders, including physicians, fled. 
Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Notre Dame, notes that an "epidemic that seemed like the end of the world actually promoted the spread of Christianity." By their actions in the face of possible death, Christians showed their neighbors that "Christianity is worth dying for."
Read Think Pray

Monday - Read Psalm 121

These Psalms of ascent would be sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate passover.  This is not just a Psalm for mountain climbing, it is a Psalm about life.

Pray

Pray this short Psalm as you ask God to guide you on your spiritual journey.

Tuesday - Read Genesis 12:1-4a

If Abraham had not been obedient to God's call in Genesis 12:1 then he wouldn't have begun the process of discerning the stories of God which Moses eventually writes down.  God promises blessings - but for those blessings to be realised Abraham has to leave a lot behind.

Pray

Lord teach me to follow your call every step of my journey.  

Wednesday - Read Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

Verses 1 to 5 are a reminder that to have faith is to trust in God.

Pray

Lord give me the faith to lean on you more than all the other things I lean upon.

Thursday - John 3:1-17

Jesus reminds Nicodemus that he needs to be born of the Spirit and the flesh.  It is easy to live our lives paying attention only to the flesh.  The Spirit is easily sidelined making no demands of us.  But to see true life - we need to open our hearts to the life of God's Holy Spirit.

Pray

Lord I receive the renewing power and love of your Holy Spirit.  Amen.