E-VOTIONAL FOR MARCH 15, 2020
Terry V. Swicegood
Beginning today I will be writing a regular “E-Votional” for our congregation, which will be posted on our website (http://peoriapresbyterianchurch.org/wordpress/) Facebook page
(https://www.facebook.com/fpcpeoria/), and on our prayer chain.
I am writing this from my favorite coffee shop, Ground Control, in Litchfield Park. I come here every morning to prepare Sunday bulletins, write sermons, and to answer emails.
The coffee shop is empty now. I’m hoping a lot of people decide to come here for breakfast today, for the new owner, Ian Harwell, is a friend of mine and I want him to succeed.
The coffee shop is empty. And I feel empty. The Session decided, wisely, to cancel worship today and for the next few weeks. I had worked hard on a Coronavirus sermon, which I will post here later. I want to go to church today–to sing those uplifting hymns, to pray with my people, and to look heaven-ward for guidance and strength.
The Call to Worship I had chosen for our service today came from the Sermon on the Mount: “Jesus said, not a sparrow falls to the ground without your Heavenly Father’s knowledge; are you not of far more value than sparrows?”
You know this passage, a passage about worry, to take no thought for the morrow for our Heavenly Father knows and responds to our needs.
But, honestly, I am worried. Not so much that I or my loved ones will get sick, but worried about the frail elderly in our congregation and beyond. I’m worried about finances, losing the money we’ve saved for a lifetime for retirement.
I’m worried about my Charlotte family. The school where my daughter-in-law teaches has been closed. I wonder if my son, who is an airline pilot, will be furloughed.
I’m worried about my Dutch family. Will my daughter and son-in-law continue to get their salaries if they close the doors on where they are employed?
A few weeks ago I confided in the congregation that the sermons I write are always directed to me first before they are directed to the congregation. So I need a sermon today to fill my emptiness.
Last night before bed I was desperately surfing the web I looking for a devotional to send me off the sleep. The “Upper Room” which I have always loved was not available without a subscription fee. Then I stumbled across the Billy Graham evangelistic website which has a devotional for every day of the year.
Amazingly the devotional for March 14 was focused on Matthew 6: “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”—Matthew 6:34 (TLB): https://billygraham.org/devotion/happiness/
So here’s my plan: when worry comes flooding into my mind I’m going to beat back the worry and repeat these words over and over again: “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too.”