Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 27, 2020
For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:14
Are you still showing up? If ever our resolve to live a faithful life has been tested, it is now. I recently read a sobering article put out by Barna that notes one in three practicing Christians have entirely stopped participating in church services during this pandemic, whether in-person or online. As I reflect upon that fact, I doubt this decision was premeditated or consciously chosen by the vast majority of people surveyed. Very few of us objectively and dispassionately make such decisions, either for our good or ill. No, instead it seems we drift slowly into such positions, typically from a lack of attentiveness and intentionality in how we spend our days and invest our time, energy, and resources.
Who needs you to show up the most right now? While church attendance is a vital rhythm of life which we as Christians are meant to engage and faithfully participate in, I imagine there are other areas of your life as well which invite regular and faithful participation, yet if we aren’t careful can easily be neglected or entirely ignored. How are your most basic physical habits, such as sleep patterns or food consumption? I’ve heard many people joke about the “COVID 15”, a reference to weight gained from inactivity and anxiety around the crisis of this present moment. Perhaps you’re also staying up late into the evening in search of distraction or escape? If either of these examples resonate with you, start here and learn to show up for yourself, seeing healthy self-care as a way to free you to serve others and give your life away.
Additionally, you may have relational commitments that desperately need your investment of attention and love. Perhaps you have a spouse going through a deeply painful season at work. How can you show up and be present to them and love them through this challenge? If you are a parent, your children (no matter their age!) need you to be a constant source of unconditional love, support, and encouragement. If you have social causes that animate your heart and soul, the nonprofits and local agencies in your community need you to continue to be a volunteer and benefactor that they can rely on, especially in turbulent times.
If you are a follower of Jesus, as Hebrews reminds us, you and I have become partners of Christ. Yet as beautiful and true as that statement is, we must never neglect the word of caution that follows it, “if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.” I once heard a pastor say, “90% of the Christian life is just showing up.” You may not feel like you have the capacity to be all the things you long to be for everyone in your life. However, can you simply commit to keep showing up?
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Father, even in our weakness and fragility, give us the strength to keep showing up to you and to those whom you have called us to love and serve, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Identify the key places and people in your life that need you to keep showing up, and then resolve to do so!
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