In his book Mere Christianity, CS Lewis reminds us that: “Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection.”
Lewis goes on to describe a type of common sense basis for this concept, though perhaps we don’t often think of it this way. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire. Lewis says “If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.“ And that “thing” that has them of course, is God. Lewis reflects on the notion that once one is united to God, “…how could they not live forever? But if one is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?”
So my question to you is this: Even while social distancing, washing, sterilizing and following protocol, are you nevertheless engaging in the pursuit of some very critical infectious behaviors these days? Because you should be! (I know, it’s kind of like when I first learned that there was such a thing as “good cholesterol”. Initially, that seemed counter-intuitive.)
Here’s what I ask that you do today or this weekend: engage in contagious “faith-talk” with someone who has great conviction and enthusiasm for God‘s love for people. Do this over the phone perhaps, or, if in person, from more than six feet away to be sure! Either way, allow for the mist of the Holy Spirit of the living Christ to envelop you, and then breathe it in deeply!
And get on your knees sometime today. (Unless your orthopedic physician advises a more agreeable posturing, which is just fine!) Close your eyes, humble your heart and talk with God. Begin by saying: “Lord Jesus, please embrace me. Fill me with the infectious joy and peace and courage which is of a strain that can only come from You!” Repeat as necessary… And then pray praises to God. Praise Him for His love and and for His deep care for you and your family and all people of the world. Praise Him for His forgiveness and salvation. Praise Him for His intimate (way closer than six feet!) companionship with you right this very moment. Praise Him for being with all who call upon His name during whatever dark or troubled or challenging times this world might bring.
And finally, think about what it is that rests most heavily upon your heart. Name those things. Name them, one need or one burden at a time. Surrender yourself. Release the natural tendency to hold up that wall of immunity through your own sense of human pride or self-protection and become humble in the sight of the Lord. And trust each one of these things to God’s care and grace. And then, I invite you to enjoy and experience the “lightheadedness”, in a blissful and joy-filled type of way, and also the feverish warmth of God’s Spirit emanating, burning in your heart with the love that comes from the creator of love itself.
It is true; there is no question that the wildly contagious and potential deadliness of the corona virus has brought the world to its knees. While we are there, let’s be intentional about seeing God’s love and God’s glory and saving grace in our midst. Hang on tight, and know that God is God.
Pastor Brian Mortenson
Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867