• South Lyon Church

Before COVID or pre-COVID are new terms that will be with us as we go forward. They are not the first terms to come about because of a large or traumatic event. Prior to September 11, 2001, 9-11 was only associated with the number you call in case of an emergency. Since then it has taken on a whole new meaning and probably always will. Events happen that change our lives and our lingo forever. COVID is one of those events.

Before COVID, if you wore a mask into a bank you would be asked to leave. Now if you don’t wear a mask into the bank you are asked to leave. The mask has become a symbol of the pandemic we are in the middle of, near the end of, or are maybe just at the beginning of. I personally have a half dozen different masks. Some that have been made for me by people I know, one I bought because it was a Whataburger mask, and others are more the surgical type masks. All in all, like it or not, the mask is here for a while and even become stylish for some.

What is interesting about the mask is that it does nothing for you. I remember when people first started wearing them. The discussion was why wear them, germs would only get on the outside then when you touched the mask with your hand, they were on your hand. Then over time the discussion, the reasoning for wearing them changed. It wasn’t for yourself but for others. So wearing them became a symbol of selflessness. Selflessness in our society, an interesting aspect of this piece of material with a sting or elastic band attached to it.

But before the mask, before COVID, isn’t that what a follower of Jesus was supposed to be-- selfless. Isn’t that what a true believer of Jesus would be doing anyway, putting themselves out? A lot of people are stepping up by wearing a mask for others, but as Christians we should have already been living this way, considering others above ourselves as we are told in Philippians 2:3?

In fact society has a lot of good suggestions on how to be a better person, but a lot of these ideas were covered in God’s Word long before they were painted on a sign and sold at Hobby Lobby. Expressions such as, “Choose Joy” are just a replica of scriptures like Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thes 5:16-18) And you may see an inspiring t-shirt with the words “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Isn’t that taken from Ephesians 4:32 where we’re told, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Even when society tries to encourage teamwork with sayings like, “No man is an island,” we see remnants of 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

So wear your mask out of concern for others, but one day when you get to lose the mask—keep the concern for one another.

Masking up,

Randy


  • South Lyon Church

I have come across different people in my service to the body who have opinions that are interesting. Some felt that a certain verbiage had to be said at someone’s baptism or, well it just might not take. I was visiting someplace once and at the beginning of the class the instructor started off by railing on a particular translation of the Bible. It happened to be the one I was using and I assume a lot of others were, because when he asked for volunteers to read, there was silence. And we don’t even need to get into the different opinions as to what and how we do Sunday mornings. We all do have our opinions.

There was one individual who had a opinion about a part of Sunday mornings and while I did not feel as strongly, I did see his point. Now, this is usually an opinion about the Lord’s Supper. Or is it Communion? Or Breaking Bread? No, it wasn’t about that aspect of Sunday mornings. It was dealing with something that is usually “separate and apart” from that, though done in connection with it because of convenience. Yes, the particular aspect we were discussing was the contribution.

Now, the problem wasn’t that we collected: We both felt very strongly that there should be a collection. The problem wasn’t when we did it or how we did it. It wasn’t the message spoken to encourage us to give, or even setting it apart at the beginning of every week. It was with one word. Not contribution, but giving. He felt giving wasn’t the proper word we should use and thought bringing back to God was more appropriate. He said the money wasn’t really ours to give to God. He had already given it to us and we were just bringing it back. His feelings about this were very strong. Though I have no problem with the word giving, I did get the point he was making. I also see the problem he felt it caused with the collection we take up each week.

We have a tendency to become attached to what we have earned. And why not? “I get up in the morning and go to work to earn what I have.” “I put in long hours to accumulate what I have.” “ I make wise decisions to make sure I don’t squander what I have.” “I am not a slacker, I put a lot of effort into what I have.” I think you see the point here, it is the “I” along with the “have.” We also think in terms of what we have, as items we can give. They are ours after all, and we can give them to whomever we want. How nice of us to give something to God!

Perhaps having the mindset that we aren’t giving OUR money to God, but just bringing back some of HIS money back to Him would keep our perspective right. Maybe instead of deciding each week, “How much of my money am I going to give to God?”, we should look at it as, “How much of God’s money am I going to keep for myself?” It would definitely remind us of where our financial blessings come from. . .and who we are devoting them to.


Bringing back,

Randy

  • South Lyon Church

When I was growing up, Memorial Day was a super time! It signaled only a week or so left of school. There was a parade in the morning. A trip to the cemetery at some point in the day. A cook out with family or friends at lunch and then it was the kickoff of the Little League baseball season. There were six teams and we played twice a week so a total of six games. We would have two games a night on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. But on Memorial Day, it was a triple header! We would start around three and go into the evening. A great ending to a great day.

But as I sit here thinking about this year, a movie ending comes to mind: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! Think about it, all of the trappings and activities that were associated with the day were stolen, but not the spirit. Taking away those things altered the day, but not the underlying purpose of the day. The Whos all came together and still sang the Welcome Christmas song. All of the “stuff” associated with the day had changed, but the day had not changed at all. A great ending to a great movie.

As we ease into this Memorial Day weekend, a Grinch called the coronavirus or COVID-19 has come in and stolen all of the trappings. No baseball games to attend, be it the kids at a local ball park or heading down to Tiger Stadium. Schools closing? Well, they have been closed for a couple of months now. Sure you can gather in your backyard and have a cookout, but not with a big group of friends or a large extended family gathering. Cemeteries can be visited, but the Boy Scouts will not put out flags like they have in the past. On one hand the day has been stolen.

But Memorial Day is about more than all those events, it is about a heritage and a time to remember those who have gone before us. We can still celebrate these things in a smaller setting, maybe simply talking with family about family. The heritage of what led your family to where it is today. Remembering fun times from the past or that relative you enjoyed so much. Look at some old photos and take a trip down memory lane. We are usually too busy to take the time to do some of these things. This year we seem to have more time, because that is one thing that wasn’t stolen.

We can also take the time to think about our spiritual heritage. Share with your family the events that have happened in your life that brought you to where you are today. What friends or relatives had an important part in that spiritual journey. Then there is the trip to the cemetery--or should I say empty tomb. Time to remember the sacrificed life that was the starting point of our spiritual heritage.

It can be the best Memorial Day ever. Not because of the events, but because nothing can steal or suspend what is really important: family. Remember your physical and spiritual families and take the time to make it a Memorial Day that wasn’t stolen, but enriched.

Grateful for the Day,

Randy


South Lyon
church of christ

248-437-3585

office@southlyonchurch.com

21860 Pontiac Trail

South Lyon, MI  48178

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