West Side Family-
The year was 1971, the title of the album was called “Man in Black” and Johnny Cash hit the stage once again. This time the man in black wasn’t on stage with June. This time Johnny hit the stage with none other than the great evangelist, Billy Graham.
The title of the song is “The Preacher said Jesus said…” The first verse goes like this:
Well with everybody tryin’ to tell us what to do
You wonder how are you to know whose word is true
But the preacher just keep on a bringing us a very same word
And from St Paul to Billy Graham the same is heard
And the preacher said of truth Jesus said
(And Jesus said I’m the way the truth and the life)
That first line rings so true today, “everybody tryin’ to tell us what to do, you wonder how are you to know whose word is true.” As I sat and watched the news last night, I walked away with the only certainty of being more confused.
The second half of the first verse brings it home:
Well we can see that the world is full of greed
There’s so much hate yet there is so much need
What should we do when no one seems to care
What can we do when there is no love there
And then the preacher said of love Jesus said
(Jesus said love Thy neighbor as Thyself)
That’s it! In a world of confusion, greed, fear and anxiety, what the world needs is love! Not some cheesy Hallmark love either, I’m talking about, what Jesus is talking about is a sacrificial love. It’s a love that say’s. “You before me.” You see, no matter how great the crisis is, the great commandment always holds true, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
West Side, we will be in communication in the days ahead for plans, procedures and precautions but until then, let us be a non-anxious presence in this anxious world. Let us pursue way’s that we can love our neighbors, here are a few practical suggestions:
- Call and checkin with those who may be fearful during this time.
- Check in on healthcare workers, first responders and small business owners.
- Ask your elderly neighbors what they need during this time. (Going to the grocery store, running errands for them etc)
- Sharing supplies if there are shortages (i.e., Tylenol, Ibuprofen, cleaning products)
- Bringing pre-cooked meals for families in which everyone or the main caregivers are sick.
- Assisting with minor DIY tasks if it becomes impossible to get help.
- Limit your interaction on social media.
- Limit going out into publicly crowded areas.
- Use this time to be intentional in prayer and Bible reading.
We will be in constant contact with you in the days to come. Don’t forget, even in the midst of a pandemic… It’s All About Jesus.