Hoarding & Fasting - Sabbath March 28th
Have you been to the grocery store lately? If you haven't, let me spare you the trouble. I went to WalMart earlier this week and it looked like this:
Now, I know some of you saw the warning signs and stocked up on bread, potatoes, and toilet paper ahead of time, but I was slow to act. I could not conceive of WalMart ever running out of whatever I wanted or needed to buy. But when I walked in WalMart this week I found out how wrong I was.
Suddenly there was a limit of how many items I could buy and I wasn't able to find everything I was looking for. Having always experienced plenty, I struggled to wrap my mind around a situation where there wasn't enough to go around. Of course, the problem everyone said was HOARDING!
Now, maybe I was just a little bummed about missing out on the tortillas I was hoping to pick up from WalMart to make my burritos (not to mention everyone ran out of baby wipes!) BUT I started thinking about all the negative things the Bible has to say about HOARDING.
You can check out that whole long list by clicking here.
On the contrary, the Bible calls us to GIVE.
1 John 3:17-18 says, "If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? Little children, let us not love in word or in speech, but in action and in truth."
Our Riverview church family has already experienced several in our congregation whose job has been negatively impacted by this coronavirus outbreak. Praise the Lord, many of us will be receiving a one-time check in the mail from the federal government. But, as we are able, let us be sure to give to help those in our congregation who may experience continued hardship.
As Galatians 6:9-10 puts it, "Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
As challenging as this crisis has been, one thing that has encouraged me has been to see how God has used this moment to bring us together. Our church leaders have taken it upon themselves to make phone calls to encourage and offer support to every member of our congregation. I have even had many reach out to me!
You see, churches aren't closing, buildings are being closed. People are the church. Therefore, we're staying open!
Obviously, social distancing makes church study groups and worship services look A LOT different. And not all of it is positive. I can't wait until we are all gathered together to love on each other FACE TO FACE. Mark my words, when this social distancing is over, Riverview is going to throw a BIG party.
But, until then, we must do what we can to stay connected. Please tune in to our Sabbath School and Worship service livestream today starting at 10am, here.
Sofie Svendson, Elias Santos, Johnathan Grose, and Lyndon Gallimore will be sharing about how we can respond and how God responds in "Moments of Crisis."
But there is ONE MORE THING I want to share with you.
Do you know what the OPPOSITE of HOARDING is? It's FASTING!
HOARDING is about doing whatever I can to have all my needs met. FASTING is literally the OPPOSITE of that. FASTING is about denying myself of needs that it is within my power to supply.
Which is why it strikes me that our Georgia-Cumberland Seventh-day Adventist Conference is setting aside a day of PRAYER and FASTING on April 4th in response to our current situation. Members from around the conference will be joining together for prayer throughout the day on a conference phone line. You can find the details by clicking here.
What a contrast between the church and the world, between fasting and hoarding. At a time when everyone is thinking about how to make sure that all their needs will be met, it is such a testimony to our dependence on Christ that we would deny ourselves as a way to focus on what God may be calling us to do for HIM!
To that end, I would encourage you to participate in a worldwide initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist church that is starting this Sabbath. 100 days of prayer! Stay connected with that journey by clicking here.
Wishing everyone a Happy Sabbath!
Stay tuned to this space as we have some exciting plans for the weeks ahead.