Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…  

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27

I try to have a good attitude in public, even when I don’t have a good attitude in general. There are no vacations from our calling to live and love as Jesus did. If we bear the name of Jesus, calling ourselves Christians, then everything we do, in business or pleasure, reflects back to the one we follow.

I have been mostly staying away from all public settings during this time of quarantine. But one day last week I needed a simple item from a local store. The store opened at 8 a.m. and by design, I was the first customer of the day. My conversation with the essential worker was brief: “Thanks for helping me, I wanted to get here early to avoid the rush. It is such a beautiful sunny day. A great day on Whidbey Island.” He replied, “I am sorry if I am less than enthusiastic, but this has been really hard on us.”

I assured him that he did not need to apologize and that I was very appreciative of his service to our community. This chance encounter served as a good reminder that there are so many people carrying heavy physical or psychological burdens. That is true in every time and every season, but since early March, the burdens of daily life have been compounded by fear and the disruption of all things familiar. No one has escaped loss in this time of social distancing, economic chaos and deprivation of personal freedom.

My prayer is that every encounter might be seen as an opportunity to be a part of the healing of our community and our world. Perhaps we will not be able to lessen the load of grief and loss of those we meet, but let us not add to the weight by being impatient, insensitive, or rude. There are no vacations from our Christianity; treat others as you wish to be treated.

We are one day closer to the end of this crisis. I am thankful that we are in this together.

Much love,

Pastor Jim

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