Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Letter From Robin Webber - March 23, 2020

Letter From Robin Webber

March 23, 2020

Good morning to our spiritual family in our church circuit on the Sabbath of March 21st,

I am here at my computer with a good cup of hot coffee (“holy water”) and writing to those who are near and dear to us. I hope to get off this note to you before the Sabbath presentation from Cincinnati. Time will tell. And, “time” is what I would like to talk to you about for a few minutes and share perspectives as to how we use time as it comes to us and pass through it.

I’m sure we all have more unhurried time to share now as we move through this unique global crisis that is impacting our nation, our states, our counties, and perhaps some of our immediate families.  It’s increasingly touching every aspect of our lives as we find ourselves to one degree or another confined and the normal speed of the treadmill of life slowly grinds to a halt. It is definitely a change, but the question before all of us is what will we do with such change?

The other night I caught an interview on cable news featuring Adam Carolla, author, humorist, and podcaster . Mr. Carolla made a few noteworthy comments that in a sense we have all become confined almost like a “prison sentence.”  He mentioned there is an old prison saying, “that you can either do the time or the time can do you.” 

This then leads to the penetrating question: How then do we “do the time” now enforced upon us rather than falling victim to allowing “the time to do us?”   How will we order and/or re-order our life’s priorities?  I’m not talking about stocking up on toilet paper, sanitizers, potatoes and bananas, or coffee. But what really counts during this “time” is our relationships. How and will we connect with our Heavenly Father, Christ our Savior, our spouses, our children whether young or adults, neighbors, and our co-workers, and to be a light to those who we will yet meet at the store or on the sidewalk, and/or on face book? How will we be a  light in a darkening time that reflects the Lord of our Life–if indeed He firmly sits on the throne of our heart.

Just thinking and pondering, stay with me please.

There’s an old political slogan “to never waste a crisis.” Well, with “kingdom thought” let’s not waste this one.  This current challenge will pass, but as Mr. Corolla brings out what will we do with this “snapshot” in time.  One thought comes to mind and it’s a computer analogy. It’s  the process of defragmentation. To understand that term we must first understand fragmentation. That’s when entire files are broken down to small pieces and spread across the hard drive. This slowly diminishes free space. This needs to be reclaimed so the instrument, the computer, may fully function as designed. Most of us would never think of NOT defragging our computer. But, what about ourselves?

As tough as change is in the moment, if we “do the time” rather than allow “the time to do us,” this will not remain just one snapshot in time, but a beneficial re-ordering of how we walk through life as Christ beckons us to “follow Me.” The Scripture speaks about time in Ephesians 5:14-17-“Therefore He says, ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light’ (from Isaiah 26:19, 60:1). See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not  be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”      

There are three key lessons to consider in this set of verses.

Number One: Even Christians can get over-saturated with the ways of this world and put their trust in society thinking that things will always remain the same.

Hello? The last month has shown how fragile our 21st century society can be and what started elsewhere is now HERE!  Humanity can exist in false reasoning that somehow we’re so advanced that what has occurred in history will not be repeated. Consider how World War I began in little Serbia and through a series of political alliances created a domino effect in which the entire world was drawn into global conflict—overnight.

Number Two: God’s Word encourages us to “redeem the time.”

The Greek term for redeem is exagaroso. It implies to “buy back”  I.E.- create value once again. The same value that God places on us!

The Revised Standard version puts it this way–“making the most of the time.”  The Greek word for time is  “kairos” which carries the sense of being seasonal in nature like harvest time. When it’s time to harvest–it must be done now–for the time of ripeness will pass if one does not go out into the field to gather.

What are we gathering–now? Perhaps it’s time for all of us to “de-frag” our lives, hearts, and minds and go back to the basics of relationships that are precious and are to endure beyond the immediate challenges of life.

Number Three: Verse: 17 encourages us not to be unwise, but wise.

We come to understand “the will of the Lord” by reading Scripture (the written Word)–His words not ours!  We come to understand how to live life as Jesus (The Living Word)—He who said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” 

The guiding wisdom of God often led His servants into the wilderness to come to more fully understand Him whether it be Moses, Elijah, or Jesus (Matthew 4:1). All of us as people of covenant will at times be placed in a “wilderness experience” to be “spiritually defragged” but only then to re-enter community–now–with the free space–of serving and honoring God. The needful wisdom of a follower of Jesus is to understand both aspects of our spiritual pilgrimage:

1) The time of wilderness and isolation and,

2) The time to re-enter society and be better for it.

With this said, “let’s do the time” that is here now in this season and learn the lessons from it that we might glorify our Heavenly Father, honor Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and be a blessing to others.

Allow me to share a few items in conclusion.

Currently, I am not aware of any members that have acquired symptoms of the Corona Virus.

We are preparing to have one service for the entire circuit on next Sabbath, March 28th. More details will be forthcoming early next week. The same will apply to ongoing services, the New Testament Passover, and the Holy Days yet before us. God-willing, I plan to conduct the New Testament Passover for you. Additional speakers will be added during this time.

We have plans to make sure of the needs of our homebound and/or elderly for the upcoming festivals. Regarding the New Testament Passover also keep in mind the “Second Passover” but we will take every possible step to enable our people to partake of the initial observance.

Allow me to conclude by sharing a blessing upon you from God’s precious Word: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever, Amen” (Jude 24-25).

Your fellow pilgrims-in-Christ on the journey set before us–together, Robin & Susan