[Jesus] is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. – 2 Timothy 4:2
One of the serendipities associated with this COVID-19 lockdown (and I’m sure there will be many, even though the whole thing is driving us nuts!) has been Rebekah’s decision to send out a short devotional video-blog every morning.
It’s a very basic exercise. She puts her phone in a tripod, she takes a sip of coffee, and then she offers a two-three minute word of inspiration and encouragement.
She’s done it from her office, from the deck, from the front stoop, and – most recently – from a corner of our living room by the window. The tech folk then post the “shorts” on the Wake Forest Presbyterian Church Facebook page.
Typically (and this is the essential point of today’s post) Rebekah’s words flow out from her personal devotional time. We always share a short reading together at the end of breakfast (currently we’re working through a book by Henri Nouwen), then we dive in a little more deeply as individuals, as we get our morning work under way.
Between us, Rebekah and I read a large amount of scripture and cover a lot of devotional ground – both privately and together, plus our ongoing conversations with other people. This answers a question I field quite often: “How is it that you (and Rebekah) can talk (or write) so easily about faith?”
Because it is real:
You see it’s a lot easier to improvise – or “riff” – when we are already saturated with discipline and practice. If you ask me an off the cuff question about fishing I may stand there and shrug my shoulders because I don’t have the background, the knowledge, the experience, or the passion. Jesus, on the other hand, is a constant, a companion, a guide. It is no stretch to talk about someone you already talk with on a regular basis.
This time of uncertainty and of shutdown, of isolation and of shelter in place provides us with the opportunity – the imperative – to retool spiritually. Maybe one great serendipity of this “hit the pause button” time will be a world full with people of renewed faith, people who want to be “instant” to “be prepared” to “be ready” in the way the New Testament writer suggested in 2 Timothy 4:2.
I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrased this in his Message. “[Jesus] is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.”
Don’t ever quit. Keep engaged with your faith. Keep Jesus front and center. Then it won’t be so difficult – or feel so strange – to live the message out loud.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
pictures from recording live video blog: