Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Forty Eight

April 9, 2020
Dear friends,  

When I was driving home on Tuesday afternoon, I saw an ambulance around the corner from where we live. A man who appeared to be less than 50 years old was standing in the middle of the street, talking to a lady who was at least two metres away, near a stretcher. When I returned to the corner thirty minutes later, police had cordoned off the area with yellow tape. Having watched many movies and television shows with many different plots, Karen and I wondered what happened. My first thought was that the man needed to get to the hospital to be treated for respiratory troubles, due to the coronavirus.

Last week, we learned that a pastor friend in North Carolina has been in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Please pray for Bill, who came to my 40th birthday party 25 years ago and wrote in our guest book that he hopes to be at my 80th birthday party. He and his wife, Beth, moved from North Argyle, NY to Florida, where we visited them in 1998 and our children played with their children. In addition to having the coronavirus, Bill is suffering from gout.

This week, we learned that a young lady in our church has tested positive for COVID-19. Please pray for Judith, who was working in a hospital in Verdun, where our church is located. Less than two months ago, the auditorium was packed for a memorial service for Tristan Shaffer, whose life ended a couple of days before his nineteenth birthday. This Easter, the chairs and pews in churches will be empty, but Christians around the world will celebrate the empty tomb and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of my favourite stories in the Bible is the account of two disciples who were walking to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles (eleven kilometres) from Jerusalem. In Luke 24, we read “And they were conversing with each other about all these things which had taken place. And it came about that while they were conversing and discussing, Jesus Himself approached, and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (v. 14-16). When Jesus asked them what they were talking about, we learn that “they stood still, looking sad” (v. 17). In thinking about this, it occurred to me that many people are experiencing what Cleopas and the other disciple did at that moment: sadness and loneliness. Until a few weeks ago, the world was filled with activity and commerce. Now, the air is cleaner and people have more time to reflect on what is really important in life.

As the Lord Jesus began to explain to the disciples near Jerusalem the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures, their attention was riveted on the One who made heaven and earth. After hearing the Lord give them the most amazing Bible study ever, the disciples watched Him take bread and give it to them, after blessing it and breaking it. Notice their reaction: “And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:31-32).

How about you? Are you a child of God or are you consumed with self-centred concerns, pursuing happiness, but not having any certainty about spiritual issues? You can know a peace that passes all understanding, by turning from sin and trusting Christ to heal your soul and guide your ways. Don’t delay – come to Him today.           

Scripture for the weekend: “and He said to them ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations beginning from Jerusalem.’” Luke 24:46-47 (NASB)

Thought for the weekend: “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” – Corrie Ten Boom

By His grace,