“Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

Now that we have begun the first phase of re-opening our economy, it is vital to re-establish our relationship with others along the way.

It has been a unique experience witnessing brotherly love and unity throughout the community. Where our giving has been from the heart and an open testimony of God’s love towards those less fortunate, even at the cost of possibly becoming infected as well. In this the greatest commandment given by God has been fulfilled:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The call of a Christian must never diminish if we are to be an effective witness moving forward and beyond Covid-19.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

As followers of Christ we no longer live as before but fully abide (act in accordance) in the ways of the Lord. During this time of transition as we navigate the new “norm,” we always must remember God is greater than any human government, and his ways are much higher.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The law of love directs the path of a believer in Christ. This has been the case during the recent pandemic. The love of God had no boundaries. If you were hungry; love brought you food. If you were thirsty; love brought you a drink. And when fearful; love through prayer brought you peace and assurance.

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

Social distancing, while a key component to all 3 phases of reopening our nation, has seemingly created an invisible boundary not intended by God. Allow not the aftermath of this pandemic to distance your heart as well. The dividing line if not careful can impact the manner in which we operate before others, and all in the name of the Lord. We are called to be the light upon the hill. The conduct of a Christian should always be the righteousness of God in Christ.

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

The Bible instructs you and me to embrace wisdom. In no means am I suggesting not utilizing safe measures during these perilous times. On the contrary, these courses of action were authorized to protect you and me from an invisible evil, COVID-19. Wear your mask as requested and until otherwise. As believers in Christ, we are not to live in fear; which has given way to being overly cautious. Engaging in any sort of physical contact, such as laying on hands in prayer or giving a much needed hug, is no longer deemed permissible. It is a fact that a hug reduces stress, lower blood pressure and among other things can save lives. You never know who God will place in your life who may have been contemplating ending their own.

Keep a posture of humility as you remain strong in faith. God promises never to leave you nor forsake you in times such as these. For it is written: “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”

In closing, be not afraid to greet a neighbor or stranger, give a helping hand and check on loved ones more often. For it is written, “The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Out of obedience of love blessings are sure to follow.

This is the time to come together and minister to the needs of others less fortunate as we share the good news of Christ's imminent return.

Nothing else would do except his love for me and you.

Will you accept Him into your heart today? The second coming of Christ draw near, and those found in Christ will be caught up with him into paradise. Repent of your sins and you shall be forgiven.

If you are unsure whether you’re standing with Christ Jesus and are ready to establish a relationship with the son of God, allow me to extend an invitation to experience his wonderful love and all that it brings with it. By your own free will, you accept Christ as lord and savior.

Please repeat this prayer: “Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Go in peace.

I would like to give a special acknowledgement to the late Rev. Jeffrey Morris of Assumption Parish, whose writings and teachings I have had the privilege to own. I have shared several of Morris' excerpts within this week’s message. 

Bible references: Ephesians 1:2-4 NKJV; Mathew 22: 36-40 ESV; Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV; Galatians 2:20 NIV; Psalm 27:13 KJV; John 8:12 NKJV; Psalms 1:1-2 NKJV.  To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse. 

Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 985-857-2200 or at edith.nevis@houmatoday.com