Devotion for Thursday, May 7
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 3: 18
        I've had more than a little bit of busy-work over the last month or two. Oh sure, I've been busy at church, but it's a different kind of busy! One week we were superficially talking about coronavirus and grinning at one another in lieu of shaking hands, and then things changed so rapidly that by the next week, we were under a stay-at-home order and had to close the church building for in-person worship. It all happened like a whirlwind, so the first several weeks consisted of very long days trying to make sense out of the chaos: How shall we handle worship? What can we do to keep people connected? What do we do about finances? How do we learn to use new technology? What about funerals? What about staff? Let's just say that there were a thousand and one issues to deal with and to figure out.
            However, in the last several weeks, now that we've at least settled into a routine, I've had a little bit of extra time. For one thing, I've been able to start dealing with the fact that, for better or worse, I am moving in just a few short weeks. So my life currently consists of a whole lot of packing and planning. And, of course, being a Myers-Briggs "J," personality type, I feel obligated to get everything done yesterday. So I am almost 100% packed (the majority of which I've placed in my trusty Forester and brought to the Poconos already) except for my office which is only about 1/3 packed (but I will finish in the very near future lol). So one of the nice side effects of this pandemic is that it has given me a little extra time for busy-work, and I'm grateful.
            But I've also had time for more than busy-work. Since I haven't had to leave the house in the mornings, I've had some extra time for prayer and devotion. I've resurrected some old Frederich Buechner and C.S. Lewis devotionals. And I'm trying to do something I've always meant to do - slowly and systematically reading, studying, and journaling through the entire Bible, one chapter of the Old Testament and one chapter of the New Testament at a time.
            What about you? What have you been doing with your extra time during this lockdown? What kinds of busy-work have you been able to accomplish? But even more importantly, have you looked at this stay-at-home time as an opportunity to grow in your faith and in your relationship with Christ? We keep telling ourselves that we can't wait to get back to "normal", but I pray that we'll all develop a brand new "normal" when it comes to our spiritual lives.
                                                                Pastor Janice
Gracious Lord, help me to use my time wisely. Give me a passion for prayer, for your
Word, and for growing in my relationship with you. In Christ's name. Amen.

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