St. Augustine wrote: Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God; and this is why those who praise themselves cannot praise God. ~ Sermon 170,11
In order to know one another we must spend time with one another, in order to know God we must spend time with God. This is not the time to withdraw from God, instead draw closer, talk to God, read God’s word, and believe in the promises God’s Son, Jesus has made.
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:3
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28–30
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31–32
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised.” Luke 24:49
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:1–3
Stay close to God, stay close to those you love! — I count you among them, I promise.
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier