Philippians 4:13 is familiar. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” But in the midst of lockdown, shelter-in-place, and quarantine, “all things” takes on new meaning. Not for ourselves, but for others.
Everyone says these are strange times . . . different times. Exactly what kind of people do these times call for? Who do we need to be?
1 Chronicles 12 details a difficult time in the history of Israel. King Saul was dead and a young upstart named David was about to take power. Sure, he was a national hero, but could he make the chariots run on time?
All Israel sent help. The Benjaminites sent bowmen, the Gadites sent warriors with faces of lions. Even that half-tribe of Manasseh sent 18,000 men!
And then there was Issachar
With everyone sending warriors, who would Issachar send? It’s not just a question of who would they send, but who would Israel really need?
And, for that matter, who do we need?
I think there’s much to be learned by the support sent from the tribe of Issachar. In our own days of battling Covid-19, quarantines and uncertainty, we need exactly what they brought to the fight.
“You always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.” Those words are for you and me. Do we know how to live up to them?
Palm Sunday remembers Jesus riding into Jerusalem to the praise of his followers. But the crowd was left wondering, “Who is this?” The crowd around us continues to ask the same question.
The cry of the rooster at Peter’s denial of Jesus is a siren ringing reminder of the sound of all our failure. But failure isn’t the end.