April 30, 2020

Yesterday, Doug, who has a lot of tractors, called to find out why I couldn’t hook up my hay cutter’s hydraulic line to the tractor. I was happy to report that after a few hours of pushing, pulling, and using an entire can of carburetor cleanout spray, Dee was able to make everything work the way it was supposed to. My very important job was to hand Dee tools when he asked for them.

As Doug and I visited, I realized I hadn’t seen him since the Sunday before the stay-at-home order went into effect. I tried to remember what Doug looked like and the best I could do was a young man, very short, with earrings, and a long ponytail.

So, after our conversation, I looked in an old church directory to see exactly what Doug looked like. He’s older, tall, doesn’t wear earrings, and doesn’t have enough hair for a ponytail. I missed it by a mile.

As Doug and I visited, we talked about the great day when everyone would return to worship in person at church. Doug was excited about seeing everyone. I was excited about calling the ushers forward to receive the morning’s tithes and offerings. It really will be a day to remember. Having said that, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

One of the foundational principals of Methodism is to do no harm. Sometimes that means looking out for others when they may not be looking out for themselves.

Because of the need to protect the most vulnerable in our congregation, we are at least two weeks away from opening the church for worship on Sunday mornings.

I realize some will think this is the prudent thing to do and others will disagree. That’s okay. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to always agree on everything, but I truly believe this is God’s will for our congregation. I also believe it is the wise choice.

Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

Be patient and know that someday we will be together again. And on that day, I know exactly where Doug will be sitting.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in these strange times, help me to always make wise decisions. Give me patience, peace, and fill my heart with compassion. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

One last thing. On our first Sunday back together, remember to bring your offering.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins