March 21 “Itching Ears Want to Hear”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is another beautiful day.  In talking to people from the congregation, things seem to be sailing pretty smoothly.  Everyone seems to have gotten the idea of social distancing down.  The main way of coping is to talk or text people on the phone. 

You are sheltered, you have food, and you have ways for calling for help.  I know most people (even the introverts) are missing face-to-face human interaction.  A few weeks ago, we didn’t want to stop shaking hands, but now we’d even welcome a conversation yelled from thirty feet away… Just to feel less isolated.

I don’t want to take away anything that gives you comfort, but I ask you to be careful about two kinds of television shows:  News and religious programming.   By all means, watch enough news to feel connected to the world, but you know when it starts feeling like an addiction.  You also know that some channels are also interpreting the news for you, so you will get angry at “the other side.”  There is plenty to feel agitated about without somebody stirring your pot for you.

Also, a lot of religious shows are unhealthy by the message that they are tacking on to Christianity.  There are shows that seem to worship God even as they tell you their secrets to getting rich (often referred to as “the prosperity gospel”).  There are religious shows that will tell you that you are not really a Christian unless you hate someone different than you.  There are some religious shows that simply want to entertain and stimulate you so you will send them lots of money.  Some religious shows will even make assumptions about which political party you belong to.

2 Timothy 4:1-3

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

If you want to watch appropriate Christian programming, I’d start by going to www.moravian.org

Tomorrow, I am going to try to post a video message on Youtube.  I will send you a link if that works out well, but I will also keep up with these daily messages.

The main thing is to remember the Essentials:  God is the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier… We respond with faith, hope, and love.  We do not need to judge others, because the world already has a judge.  We do not need to save others because the world already has a Savior.  We just need to love in thought word and deed… and depend on the faith God gives us to hope for the future.

Take some time today and say a prayer for “first responders.”

Blessings,

Pastor Rick