March 26

I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.  Psalm 38:18

Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret. 2 Corinthians 7:10

In every Bible reading I do, there seems to be at least one verse that jumps out at me as being so perfect, so destined for how I am feeling at that moment. Sometimes it’s one of the verses selected for that day, but this, as with so many other readings and devotions, was from the verses around it. 

In this chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul is pleased with the people at the church in Corinth. It seems that Titus has written to him that the people have truly repented their sins and Paul is taking great pride in how they are doing. He might be having a hard time where he is currently staying at the time, but says “in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds” (2 Corinthians 7:4b).

I can only imagine how hard it would be for that congregation, for Paul to have come to them, started that congregation, spent time with them, been a great leader to them, and then have left. They must be missing him greatly, but when you’re far away, how nice it is to hear that you are missed and being prayed for, because in the second half of verse 7, Paul says, “He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.”    

I think a lot of people must be missing each other right now, with the social distancing due to the pandemic. I am an introvert myself, and usually happy to spend time alone, but I am missing greeting people in person at church, and at work, now that I am able to work from home. It’s a blessing to be able to still experience church services through live streaming and videos posted to Facebook and YouTube, thanks to the wonderful people of Christ the King (and other churches in Bloomington and around the world), but I’m praying for the days to come when we can greet each other again with handshakes and warm hugs in person.  Until then, let’s continue to hold one another in prayer, in concern for one another’s safety and health, and in joy and gratitude for those who are holding us together.

Loving and forgiving God, thank you for the leadership of our church, of the pastors and staff who are working to bring your words and love to all of us in whatever ways they can. Thank you for the strength that you give each of us. Encourage us all to do whatever we can to help someone else, whether it be a phone call or a text or a note in the mail to offer words of hope during a difficult time.  Forgive us for our selfishness in taking more than we need and leaving others with empty cupboards. Keep us together in your love, I pray. Amen.

Peace,

Lynda Tysdal