Word for Word 6/3/20

Rev. Kim Gates
Rev. Kim Gates

I was sort of at a loss for an article to put in the June church newsletter and I’m not much more inspired for my turn at the newspaper article! I know the State Of Iowa is slowing “opening” up from the COVID-19 shutdown but there is still quite a bit of feeling like we’re in some sort of a holding pattern. I know many parishioners have been more than ready to return to in-house/face-to-face worship but it can’t and won’t be exactly like it was before the shutdown.

Oh, and speaking of “shut down” I must echo what I have read and heard repeatedly: the Church was not “closed” just the buildings were. The Church is the people - the living breathing Body of Christ on earth - so we never “closed” the Church. Rant over.

I guess we just have to head into summer with a “one day at a time while we wait and see” mentality. But it seems I’ve been in this state of mind for so long already it’s beginning to get really ‘old’! Yet I do NOT want to put anyone at risk, including myself. So WWJD/what would Jesus do? I think most Christians know the answer to that: be lovingly patient. We need to be patient with our Government leaders, our Church leaders, our medical experts, our family members, our neighbors (literal and biblical), and all the rest of the human race whether we agree with them or not.

Stress tends to shorten our patience with other people but have you ever heard that old saying, “patience is a virtue”? Well, the following is no doubt where it got its origin…

1 Corinthians 13:4 -- LOVE is patient…
Galatians 5:22-23 -- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance [i.e. patience]…
Psalm 37:7 -- Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Psalm 40:1 -- I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Proverbs 14:29 -- Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
Proverbs 15:18 -- A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
Proverbs 16:32 -- Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Proverbs 19:11 -- A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 -- The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Romans 8:25 -- But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Romans 12:12 -- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
2 Corinthians 1:6 -- If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
Ephesians 4:2 -- Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 -- And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Hebrews 6:15 -- And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
James 5:7 -- [Patience in Suffering] Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

So the word for this summer is PATIENCE i.e. forbearance/self-control/restraint/ tolerance/ moderation/persistence/fortitude/endurance! May you know patience in abundance and “share” your patience with all whom you must live with and do business!

Rev. Kim Gates
Waukon St. Paul’s and Forest Mills United Methodist Churches

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