A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

John 13:34

DEVOTION

As I reflect on these past couple of months in quarantine, what stands out to me are images in my mind. Images of conversations, laughter, tears, embraces with family. My husband and I have been blessed to have all three of our grown sons at home with us during this time. Had this pandemic not occurred, we may not have ever had time together again quite like this.

When I close my eyes, the images flash before me. A conversation with my oldest son about how he views God. Our family piled onto the sectional in our family room laughing until we cried about certain aspects of family vacations (like the time my husband told us all about a petrified forest he wanted to drive us to on our trip to Arizona when, in fact, it was basically a petrified log). Four square on the driveway. Long walks with our Bernedoodle puppy around the neighborhood. Watching the Venue worship and sitting with tears streaming down my face as they sang “The Blessing.” And just last night, I talked with one of our children about the way God worked in our lives to bring our family to Crossings over 17 years ago and me to my position as Pastor of Crossings Kids. The list goes on and on.

God gives us many images from the Gospels, too. Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. Jesus shedding tears over the death of Lazarus. Jesus eating breakfast with the disciples following his resurrection. A father running to meet his son who has returned home. Those statements alone cause us to envision each of those occurrences and call to memory the stories associated with them.

Moments. Relationship. God cares deeply about both. He places high value on relationship and uses moments in our lives together to strengthen and build those relationships. In fact, John 13:34 tells us this:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).

COVID-19 has brought great pain and struggle upon many. For some, there has been tremendous loss. I am thankful God has once again continued to work for the good of his people in such a difficult time. He has given us many moments, many opportunities, to love one another as he has loved us.

As you close your eyes and reflect on the past several weeks, what images come to your mind? Has there been laughter? Tears? Loneliness? Frustration? A little bit of each?

I’ve given you a glimpse into my life through stories involving laughter, some involving tears, and some in between. It’s difficult to make generalizations about all of this because each of our experiences have been uniquely personal. For some, this has been a season of enjoyment and for others, a season of loss. Whatever your situation, be assured that, like in the Gospels, God is not only orchestrating his kingdom on a large scale, but in the intimately personal details of your life.

PRAYER

Father,

Thank you for your great love for us. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be in relationship with you and with one another. What a gift it is to know that we can trust you no matter what we are going through, whether we are experiencing great joy or great loss. As we continue to navigate the effects of this pandemic, may we fix our eyes on Jesus and experience his peace.

Amen.

Jennifer Bardell

Crossings KIDS Pastor
jbardell@crossings.church

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