Today's "Daily Bread" from St. David's

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Daily Bread

Then Jesus said to them,

“Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

When he had said this,

he breathed on them and said to them,

“Receive the Holy Spirit.”

(John 20:21-22)

For me, the above stained glass window at St. David's calls to mind the story of doubting Thomas - where the disciples were self-isolating, locking themselves in a room out of fear, but the risen Jesus repeatedly breaks into their lives, … offers them peace, … and bestows on them the Holy Spirit.  
I’ve really identified with the disciples in this passage lately, and I’ve had a renewed sense of appreciation for this story over the last few weeks, as we’ve spent a lot of time isolated in our homes, … fearful to go outside, … and uncertain what the future might hold.  Yet, like the disciples, I’ve had moments where something breaks into my life with an inspiration or fresh idea (I like to think that it’s the risen Jesus), … and it provides me with a sense of strength and comfort and peace.
I read an article recently that reminded me that this often seems to happen during times of adversity – inspiration and invention and innovation arise to address the challenges of the day.  And this definitely seems to be happening during this Coronavirus crisis.  We see this inspiration and innovation in the advances of new ways of communicating with each other, … and of holding classes on-line, … and of worshiping together. 
But it’s not just with breakthroughs in technology.  Bad times can also lead to inspirations and innovations in our lifestyles and how we live.  And I think the COVID-19 pandemic may be creating such a change in us now - by forcing many of us to slow down, to spend more time in contemplation and personal reflection, away from the noise and hustle-and-bustle of the world.  And with more quiet time, more privacy, more stillness, we’ve had the opportunity to think about who we are, as individuals and as a society, … to consider what’s truly important to us, … and to recognize and better appreciate what we’ve been missing – like the connection and interaction and physical embrace of others.
Unfortunately, lifestyles and the ways we live don’t change easily.  Without noticing, we easily slip into familiar routines, … become accustomed to how things are, … and to fall into ruts. It often takes some powerful outside force to strike us and awaken us from our slumber.
And over the last month or so, we’ve definitely been struck. With daily routines interrupted, with many workplaces shut down, with restaurants and movie theaters and stores closed, with many of us spending the 24 hours of each day sequestered in the small caves of our homes, suddenly we find ourselves alone with our thoughts, and we have the chance to notice: We have been living too fast. We have been too caught up chasing after speed, or efficiency, or money, or “progress” or prosperity or “success.”  We have missed out on contemplating life’s deep thoughts and celebrating life’s simple joys.  And we have taken for granted things that we never realized were so important to us – interactions with others, … being a part of a community, … the touch of a friend.
At some point, this Coronavirus crisis will pass, and we can begin the long process of rebuilding our lives and getting back to “normal.”  But as we do, I hope the inspiration of a more contemplative, deliberate way of living can stick with us and bring us strength and comfort and peace as we move forward.
May God’s peace be with you.


                                                                     -  Pastor Micah


Daily Song

***  Click on the image to the left to hear the song.

I don’t know about you, but peace of mind is something that has been a little hard for me to come by lately. Every time I turn on the TV or check my phone, there’s another story about the Coronavirus pandemic that puts a knot in the pit of my stomach and brings a lump to my throat. And that doesn’t do much to promote peace of mind, at least for me. But one thing I’ve always found that helps to relieve the stress just a little bit is music. There’s an old saying that goes, “music calms the savage beast,” and whether or not that’s actually true, music does have a way of reaching to the very core of our emotions, calming us, inspiring us, and everything in between. So when I was thinking of a song that embodied both of those things, one song in particular popped into my head. Written by the Grammy award-winning contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Laura Story, “Perfect Peace” is a simple yet poignant song that delivers its message as if from the perspective of God. Gently and reassuringly, it reminds us that no matter what may be happening in our lives, no matter how crazy things might seem or how out of control they might feel, that God is always there to keep us safe and to be our peace. I hope this beautiful song makes you stop for just a second, take a deep breath, and find a little peace of mind to start off your day.

“Stay close by my side
Keep your eyes on me
Though this life is hard
I will give you perfect peace
In this time of trial
Pain that no one sees
Trust me when I say
I will give you perfect peace”

- Bethany


Daily Prayer

Loving God, I pause (breathe in and out)
    and thank you for this day -
        For the challenges, the emotions, the struggle.
        For in all this, I grow closer to you.

I pause (breathe in and out)
    and ask that in the darkness, I see your light
    and in my fear, I feel your strength.

I pause (breathe in and out)
    and remember that today, as in days before,
        I have survived.
    When I’ve wanted to run, I’ve stayed.
    When I wanted to hide, I’ve faced the day.

I pause (breathe in and out)
    and ask for forgiveness for the days I falter
        and the darkness takes over.
    I ask for compassion and love
        when I’m unable to give those to myself.

I pause (breathe in and out)
    and resolve to love myself more tomorrow,
    and always feel your spirit surround me in safety.

I pause breathe in and out)
    and rest in your peace.


-- by Erin Roush (found on-line)

Our Ministry Continues

Even with us not gathering physically for worship right now, the life and work of our church continues. ***  Please click on the above image to contribute to our ministry on-line.You can also mail in offerings to:

St. David's Lutheran Church
20 Clark Blvd.
Massapequa Park, NY  11762

Your continued support is much appreciated.  Thank you.

Be sure to e-Worship with us
on Facebook or our website

(Please e-mail us if you can't get the link).*** Our NEXT e-Worship Service is
Sunday at 10 a.m.
Service of the WordCollaborating with our sister church
(Cross of Christ Lutheran in Babylon)
and their pastor (Pastor Joanne Bond),
we are offering e-worship opportunities.Worship videos premiere
on our website and Facebook page

on Sundays at 10 a.m.,
and then can be viewed anytime afterwards.**  Click on the above image to view this past Sunday's service.
Thanks to all who took part
in our family-fun
Easter Scavenger Hunt
on Zoom!!!