Sermon Series “Christianity in the time of Covid”

Six week series on the “new normal” of Christianity.

Video MessageResources
Week 1:Monday Memo notes

A Short Video About Lament
Want to learn a little more about lament, or reinforce what you heard yesterday? Try this video – What Is Lament?
Lament Music This Week
The Porter’s Gate, a group of American worship leaders and songwriters, has put together an entire album of lament music. It might make a great soundtrack for the week. Here are a few of the tracks; if you like them, you can find the whole album on YouTube and elsewhere:  
Drive Out the Darkness
The Porter’s Gate – Wake Up Jesus
How Long?
Week 2:Monday Memo notes

How to Be a Non-Anxious Presence and Make Peace
Everything below is taken from an article by a Christian mediator, Douglas Noll, skilled at being at peace so that he can bring that peace into situations that don’t have it: 
– To be a peacemaker, you must not get caught up in \swirling, confused, chaotic emotions, which are largely a product of an overly-stressed/fearful brain. 
– Being a “non-anxious presence” enables you to be more clear- headed about solutions and more adroit in difficult situations, but it will also lower the anxiety throughout the entire group. 
– Peacemakers recognize and contain their own anxiety, so that their presence, far from escalating conflict, actually serves to diminish its destructive effect.
– Anxiety’s major tone is seriousness, often an affliction in itself. It is always content- oriented. Its major antidote is playfulness. Your capacity to be paradoxical, challenging, funny, sometimes crazy, and even subversive often can do more to loosen knots than anything else. Keep the load light whenever you can.
– Those who are highly anxious have also lost any hope that it can be resolved, not to mention transformed. Maintaining a “non-anxious” presence exudes confidence that hope can be restored, which will help others be more engaged, less adversarial toward one another, and ultimately find the solutions they need. A single non-anxious presence is the surest route to a good outcome.
Week 3: Kingdom Labor PainsMonday Memo notes

Spiritual Exercise for the Week
Try to stay aware this week of when and how you see…
1) …That you as a Christian don’t fit well in the world that is,
2) …That CoVid is exposing things that we, as persons or a culture, were trying to ignore or dismiss,
3) …That CoVid is showing us how our old, usual way of doing things doesn’t work,
4) …And that CoVid is providing unanticipated good of God’s new creation. 
If you spend a few days this week with open eyes to these things, then later in the week try sharing what you’ve observed with a friend or small group, or journal about it. 
A Song for the Week
This tune, “Kingdom Come” by Covenant Worship, fits perfectly with what we talked and prayed about in church yesterday: Covenant Worship – Kingdom Come
Scripture Reading for the Week
Check out Matthew 13 this week: the entire chapter is full of parables (stories with a spiritual point) told by Jesus about how God’s Kingdom will emerge in the world: Matthew 13 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
Week 4:Monday Memo notes

Quotes for the Week
1. An excerpt from Martin Luther’s letter when the bubonic plague hit Wittenberg in 1527 A.D.: “So I will pray that God may be gracious and preserve us…If God wishes to take me, He will be able to find me. At least I have done what He gave me to do…If my neighbor needs me, I shall avoid neither person nor place but feel free to visit and help them…We die at our posts. Christian doctors cannot abandon their hospitals. Christian governors cannot flee their districts. Christian pastors cannot abandon their congregations. The plague does not dissolve our duties. It turns them into crosses, on which we must be prepared to die.”
2. Bruce Hindmarsh, church historian – “We do not yet know how much suffering will come. But may we all encourage one another to deepen our trust in God as our eternal refuge, and together with all the saints may we love and care for our neighbor like those Christians long ago in Alexandria, of whom it is written ‘never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another’…We must be especially creative to find other ways to bring the love of Christ to the suffering and the outcast.”
Videos to Go Deeper
Just a few, short videos to help us think creatively about what sacrificial Christian love in the time of CoVid might look like –
Coping with coronavirus: Watching out for our neighbors
How to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Being a good neighbor during Coronavirus outbreak
Week 5:Monday Memo notes

“The Plague” by Albert Camus
If you’re interested in learning more about this great work of 20th-century literature, and why it’s a touchstone for so many right now, try any one of these links:
– A short summary video of the book Albert Camus  – The Plague
– A short video that applies key lessons from the book to our CoVid epidemic Coronavirus: Insights from Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague’
A Prayer For The Week
Adapted from Faustina Kowalska, 1900s, Poland): 
O My God, when I look into the future, I am frightened, so why do I wish to plunge myself into a future that may never come? Also, it is no longer in my power to change, correct or add to the past, so I can only entrust it, and its lingering effect, to You. Only the present moment, whole and entire, belongs to me. I desire to use it as best I can. And although I am weak and small, I walk through life with the faith of a child, trusting Your mercy and grace, offering You my awareness of each and every moment, each second stacked upon the previous ones, eventually adding up to an entire lifetime, now and forevermore, amen.
Week 6:Monday Memo notes

Scripture Reading this Week
1. Want to read up on the tactics of false prophets in scripture? Then check out…
– 1st Kings 22.1 – 40: 1 Kings 22.1-40 NSRV
– 2nd Peter 2:  2 Peter 2 NRSVUE
–  And here’s a nifty Bible study/article from The World Council of Churches engaging with Jeremiah 27-29 on the same subject:  Telling Unwelcome Truths: True and False Prophecy
2. Read through the selected Proverbs from yesterday’s service a few times this week, even pray through them for yourself and others you know, as a way of remembering God’s call for His people to be wise:
– Proverbs 9.8-9 – Do not correct those who make fun of wisdom, or they will hate you, but correct the wise, and they will love you. Teach the wise, and they will become even wiser; instruct good people, and they will learn even more.
– Proverbs 12.15 – Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice.
– Proverbs 13.20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.
– Proverbs 14.16 – Wise people are cautious and stay out of trouble, but fools are careless and throw off restraint.
– Proverbs 18.15 – An intelligent mind seek to acquire knowledge, and the ear of the wise is inclined toward even more knowledge.
– Proverbs 26.28 – A lying tongue hates its victims, and false praise can ruin others.