One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. (Luke 5:17-19, NIV)
For countless people, the last four months have disrupted plans in nearly every area of life. Schools closed down, business opportunities lost, canceled trips and celebrations, and even loss of income and jobs. We have come to the realization that it is no longer possible for us to live the version of our lives that we had planned on living this year. There is just no way.
In Luke 5, we read that people are gathering because Jesus was healing the sick. Among those trying to make their way to Jesus was a man who was paralyzed. He was carried on a mat by a group of men. The men did their best to make their way to Jesus, but the crowd is just too thick. They couldn’t get in the house. There was just no way.
Luke, the author, does not go into all the details, but we can just imagine one of the friends saying something like, “Ok, so we can’t go in the front door. What if we got up onto the roof of the house, and lowered him in that way? We could set him right in front of the Healer! Jesus would have to help him then!”
Woven into the fabric of our humanity is an ability to find another way. We can think outside the box, we can come up with new ideas, we can suggest alternatives. Think of how many things we enjoy today came from that ability to innovate. Even when it’s hard, we can cope with change, adapt, and thrive in the midst of it. Our capacity to do this is one of my favorite parts of how God made us. I love that our hope and imagination can catalyze perseverance and resilience. As it turns out, much of the time, there is another way.
In quarantine, we can learn a new skill or read more. We can re-organize and clean our homes (who doesn’t need that?). Even though we’ve seen and talked with far fewer people, the conversations can be full and deeply meaningful. Even though this year has not been like you might have imagined, we can actually adapt, deal, and even enjoy aspects of this season.
As you reflect over the last three or four months, where were you able to find another way? What did God teach you through that experience?
Think of a person or persons who have been in your heart during this quarantine. Send them a note or give them a call to encourage them through this season of “finding another way.”
Let us trust that God’s ways are good. Ask God to remind you that you were made to think and act imaginatively and creatively, and to be confident in God’s design of us. Let us thank God because He loves us and the road to Him is always open to us through Jesus Christ.
First Evangelical Church Association
A joint and integrative ministry of spirituality, mission and social concern
FECA Theme for 2020: “Church Renewal: Growing Young”
July 5, 2020
1. Social Concern and Global Missions
Thank you for your support. As of 6/30, $3,641.90 has been collected.
Fundraising goal: $25,000.00 from 6/21/2020 to 7/12/2020.
The world continues to face the challenges brought by COVID-19. Northern Iraq, a place in which we provide ongoing ministries, is particularly affected by the pandemic. Our FECA field workers are supplementing relief efforts to the area they are residing in. There is an overwhelming need for surgical and reusable cloth masks to be distributed to the refugees. Currently, there is an estimation of over one million registered internally displaced people (IDP) and refugees in the Northern Iraq camps.
To support - Please mail check to FECA, memo line: “COVID-19 relief – N. Iraq” (Mailing address: 2617 West Beverly Blvd., Montebello, CA 90640) or visit https://www.feca.org/donation online giving – COVID-19 relief – N. Iraq.
2. Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life (September 2020 to June 2021)
Spiritual Exercises include daily one-hour devotion, weekly one-hour spiritual direction, and monthly group meeting on Saturday, 9:00 - 10:15 a.m. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pray for the possibility of joining the program.
3. Application for Financial Aid to Seminarians (for 2020-2021 school year)
This Financial Aid to Seminarians program was established to provide financial assistance to FECA church members, on the basis of real financial need, as they receive basic theological training to become Christian ministers or missionaries. The Financial Aid to Seminarians Policy and Procedure, and application form may be downloaded from FECA website (www.feca.org, click "Document Download" at the upper right corner for a list of documents available for download). All applicants should read through the Policy and Procedure before filling out the application form. Application deadlines: Fall admission and returning seminarians: 7/17/2020; Winter/Spring admission: 9/15/2020.
4. The FECA Governing Board Meeting
The meeting will be held on July 21 (Tuesday) in the evening via Zoom. Please pray for God's presence in the meeting.
Glendale SGV FECC Diamond Bar Arcadia
5/20 Sur./Def. (95,137) 93,858 16,997 10,017 43,704
01-05/20 Sur./Def. (145,442) 72,301 (142,410) (28,553) 74,092