From Deacon George …

Deacon George’s Message

Starting today, Father Tom and I will rotate in providing the clergy column for the St. John’s e-News. Be sure to check back next week for Father Tom’s Message.

How Are You Doing? 

No, really. How are you handling the – I hate to call it “new normal” – complex pandemic, economic, social, political “perfect storm” situation we have been dealt, going into Month Seven and more ahead (but who’s counting)? Bishop Loya said in his own weekly message this week, “This season is not easy, and it likely will not get easier in the coming months.”

Have you been affected directly, peripherally, or not at all? Are you having a normal social life, sheltering diligently, or hiding in the basement? Whatever your situation, what helps get you through the day? If you had to visit your doctor today, how would you answer the questions on the form you give to the nurse, about how depressed (or not) you are feeling right now? What are you doing that gives you joy?

If you are concerned about your answers to any of these questions, please know that your professional medical caregivers always stand ready to help. But in addition, allow me to offer a healthy supplement – the daily devotional. 

Before you move on to the e-News Calendar of Exciting On-line Events, let me tell you about one daily devotional that has been around forever and is a great place to start.

You have seen the books that are “on the table out in the narthex” as the Sunday announcement went. They are called Forward Day By Day: Devotions for Disciples. They come out quarterly and contain succinct one-page daily messages, each with a daily lectionary reading, commentary, prayer suggestion and question for contemplation. Current copies – August thru October 2020 – are still there on the table, lots of them, and I’m sure the office folks can get one to you, in person or otherwise, if you just call/email and ask. Do it now, while you are thinking of it. 

The Day by Day devotion for today (September 8 as I write this) is particularly relevant. In John 11:9-10, Jesus says, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of the world. But those who walk in the night stumble, because the light is not in them.” The commentary asks us how we are using our time, particularly now when many of us have so much of it available but can’t seem to make good use of it:

“We have enough time, if we use it as God calls us, and without fear…In what part of our lives are we holding on to a fear that keeps us from living in the light?”

And the meditation question is equally relevant: “How will you invite the Holy Spirit to help you organize your time today?”

If you have a daily meditation resource that you have found to be particularly helpful, email gham47@comcast.net and tell me about it, and I will report on the responses in an upcoming e-News column!

Stay Safe and Have a Blessed Week!
Deacon George

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