Magic, I Tell You

A Simple Song

When my youngest daughter was in preschool, I applied for the job of middle school choir director at her school. I really wanted the part-time job. I mean, most people would, right? Boys with changing voices plus girls with unpredictable moods. Add some 12-14 year old angst and high-brow choral music, and voila. Magic, I tell you.

Before the interview V and I were playing. I told her I was nervous about my up-coming meeting. Right away she looked up, said, “I have a song for that,” and started to sing.

God is with me. God is with me. God is with me wherever I go.

With the humility, simplicity and confidence of a 4 year old, God sliced through my anxiety. What was I worried about? He’s here! He is in control of everything!

I did get the job. It was blessedly a short-term substitute position. I only had to endure, uh, I mean, enjoy it for a few months before their director returned.

If you’re feeling anxious, remember: God is with you! And maybe thank Him if you aren’t in a small room trying to inspire young teens to sing three hundred year old music. Or snazzy arrangements of pop songs from the 70’s, which to the students is exactly the same thing.

The Bible Tells Me So

God is with me: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” —Jesus Christ

God is with me: “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.’ ” —God

God is with me: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” —Matthew and Isaiah

God is with me, wherever I go: “You know when I sit down and when I rise up … You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” —King David

CO Governor Appoints Grim Reaper to Enforce COVID-19 Compliance

Leader Unaware of Even Greater Authority

In his press conference on Sunday, March 22 (which is like 7 months ago in Coronavirus time), Governor Jared Polis said:

“There is no enforcement authority here. There is a far greater enforcement authority in these matters, and his name [pause for emphasis] is The Grim Reaper.”

The Grim Reaper is a photograph by
Ethiriel Photography which was
uploaded on February 20th, 2019.

I admit in my naïveté in that for a fraction of a second, I thought our Colorado Governor might refer to God. Obviously his response was much more creative.

However he also showed some naïveté. A 3 minute study of humanity reveals people don’t exactly take death seriously. Not on a day-to-day basis. We kinda think it’s something that will happen to the people in Pueblo or maybe even to our neighbor, but not to us.

And while death is real and serious business, personifying it as a means of motivation is just silly, not sobering.

COVID-19 is a deadly virus—I’ll resist quoting statistics that will be obsolete in 10 minutes—but I have Good News.

“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” —Jesus Christ

Jesus has a grip on the Grim Reaper. We can rely on a higher Higher Authority—the One Who died and now lives. Because of Him, I can obey the government out of love and respect, not fear.

The Bible Tells Me So

A Look at Hebrews 2

There is not just hope in Christ, be we can be free from the fear of death—you know, that funny guy with the scythe. In the event you have a few extra minutes, I invite you to do a quick study with me in Hebrews.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. —Hebrews 2:14, 15, 17 (NASB)

“ … since the children …” that is, humanity, the people God created.

“ … share in flesh and blood …” have physical bodies

“ … He Himself also partook of the same, …” Jesus was conceived by a virgin, born in a manger, lived in Nazareth, was raised by a carpenter along with brothers and sisters, and died on a cross.

Photo credit: Myron Schaffer

“ … that through death He might render powerless …” destroy, make useless, nullify

“ … him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Satan has been neutralized, overcome, and superseded.

“ … and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” He released people from their life-long fear of death, a terror that held them captive.

“Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren …” human, not poetically personified, but actual flesh and blood.

“ … to make propitiation …” to gain and regain the favor of God, to atone for humanity’s sin, to be the scapegoat (merriam-webster.com).

“ … for the sins of the people.” He took the guilty verdict and capital punishment for our wrong-doing.

Wow! I can just see the Grim Reaper menacingly waving his dulled scythe. Jesus is resurrected! Satan is defeated. And even in a pandemic, we can live without fear of dying—the Bible tells me so.

Birds Are Fed Despite Grocery Shortages

A Quick Look at Matthew 6:26

Sunday, this was my local grocery store’s dairy section:

The next morning, I stepped outside and heard birds singing. Immediately Matthew 6ish came to mind.

A few minutes later, I looked it up:

 ”Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” —Matthew 6:26

“Look” … Go to the window or step outside. See for yourself. The birds are still alive out there.

“… at the birds of the air …” Unlike most of us, they are essentially homeless, roosting at night in trees or bushes, building temporary nests for their eggs. They don’t have pantries or freezers or even holes to stash worms and bugs.

Birds

In fact, Jesus makes it very clear “that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns.” Their food supply is utterly out of their control. Maybe the reality is, ours is too?

“ … yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.” How about that? He feeds them because He cares for them. Not because they’ve earned it.

“Are you …” Just when we thought we could stay philosophical about these birds, Jesus makes it personal.

“ … not worth much more than they?” Yes, God values you more. Every morning and evening I fill the dog bowl with food. Each day, however, I spend time baking and cooking for my husband and children. I love my dog, but I value my family more!

And that’s how God feels about us. Even with empty store shelves and online back-orders, God IS caring for us.

Look … the birds believe. Will we?

Photo Credit: Salvatore Vuono

”Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ … for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. … So do not worry about tomorrow.” (See Matthew 6:31-34).