On Sunday, December 26, I said in my sermon (based on Colossians 3:12, “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience”), “To clothe ourselves with Christ is to allow Christ to make our life colorful and exciting. We wear Christ because Christ can make our life colorful, flavourful, and fashionable. Our life cannot be boring or dull, or dark when God is with us. God makes our life bright, and God will make us laugh and cry. God will deepen our understanding of who we are and our appreciation for our life. When God is with us, each day becomes a special gift for us to celebrate. Our life isn’t going to be pleasant all the time, but when God is with us, our life will not become dry, dull, or boring. When baby Jesus is with us, our every day becomes a Christmas party.”
Yet, when I heard that someone who attended Christmas Eve was diagnosed with COVID after the Sunday worship service, the first thing that came to my mind was what I said from the pulpit. I said, “Why did I say that?” “What is wrong with boring? Absolutely nothing!”
After hearing my regret of saying that from the pulpit, a friend reminded me that it wasn’t my sermon that brought this new challenge upon us. Humans can be funny. We try to find a reason for every challenge and trouble we experience. Yes, we are responsible for what we do, and we will always need to find ways to do better. But more than often, we settle with a quick unhealthy reason blaming ourselves or others for the things beyond our control. We think God is so petty and ready to punish every little thing we have not done right.
However, that is not who our God is and that is not what God tells us to do. The Scripture reminds us that God loves us and cares about what we go through.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”Psalm 46: 1–3
God invites us to depend on God more when we face challenges. I believe what we face today is another opportunity to love and forgive each other more. God is calling us to pray for each other more.
So we will pray. We will pray for everyone and each other. We pray that those who are infected by the virus will receive the proper treatment and recover from the virus quickly. We pray that caregivers, families, and neighbors will be shielded from the spread. We pray for every health care provider and the frontline worker. We pray for God’s help with those who strive to find a cure. We pray we will soon live, work, play, and worship God freely without anxiety and fear of getting sick.
We humbly ask your prayer for everyone during this uncertain and stressful time. May God bless you and protect you! Happy New Year!
Rev. Chuck Moon
A version of this message first appeared in the Thursday, December 30, 2021, edition of Tidbits.