Daily Encouragement - April 30

Isaiah 40:3-5      

 A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,  make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;  the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.  Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”


These last six weeks or so have sometimes felt like a wilderness.  We are not sure how things work anymore.  There are many things we can’t do right now.  Trips beyond the yard are few.  I go to the grocery store or the pharmacy and complete my purchases as hastily as possible. (It reminds me of John Wesley’s admonition to his preachers not to spend any more time in one place than is absolutely necessary).  I wear a mask and wash, wash, wash when I get home (although I am not quite as careful as my friend who puts all of her clothing in the wash and then showers and washes her hair after every trip to the store).  I worry about the children at Oaks Road School that I miss seeing every Tuesday at lunch.  I worry about folks who are lonely, who cannot pay their bills, who have no homes to stay in.  


And I think about the words of Isaiah, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord.”  I have to ask myself whether or not I am preparing the way of the Lord through this COVID-19 wilderness, or am I simply wallowing in the wilderness and complaining?  “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together.”  A wonderful thought!  But grouchy old me wants to ask, “Well, where shall I look?”  And I think at this point God must give me a holy eye roll.  “Look around you,” God whispers in my ear.  “You will see.”


Outside my window, two squirrels are chasing each other, leaping higher than I knew squirrels could leap.  A bluebird stops at my bird feeder.  In the corner of our front porch a pair of barn swallows has returned for the third year to build their nest and raise their babies.  On my daily walk, people greet one another (from safe distances) with smiles and waves.  People who have to go out into the dangerous world to work are unfailingly kind and patient with the rest of us.  


Look around.  The world is quieter without the hum of traffic and factories and airplanes.  We can hear the birds sing.  The air is clean and clear.  Rivers and streams are becoming clear again.    The glory of the Lord is being revealed.  And my question is, how I can I help spread that revelation?


This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m going to let it shine!                                                                                   

 Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m going to let it shine!

Hide it under a bushel? NO!  I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! 

Shine all over my neighborhood!  I’m going to let it shine!    

Shine all over my neighborhood!  I’m going to let it shine!

Shine all over my neighborhood!  I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!


Gracious and loving God, great are you, and greatly to be praised.  We ask you to teach us how to help you reveal your glory to those around us.  Help us to look beyond gloom and sadness and darkness and into the beautiful bright light of your grace.  Arm us with the strength and resolve to share your love everyday in every way that we can.  Amen.


Pastor Rachel Moser

Centenary United Methodist Church

309 New Street, New Bern, NC, 28560 

P.O. Box 1388, New Bern, NC 28563

Phone: 252.637.4181

Fax: 252.637.5602

Email: centenaryumc@centenarychurch.com

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