The following article was prepared by Bettie Marlowe, General Sunday School Coordinator.
During the past months we have heard much about shut-______s. Some seem to be fairly negative – some positive. So how can we work with such situations? Or should we just accept them and shut down?
Let’s turn the negatives into positives.
Shut in: To enclose, hem in, to surround. Through no fault of their own, shut-ins lose their contact with the outside world. But they need the connection with others. And those “others” can be the Sunday school through the extension department. At this time, personal visits may not be advised, but technology brings in ways to keep in touch. Also, a surprise placed on their doorstep will lift the spirits of the shut-in. We can’t go into nursing homes, but the residents can receive mail and phone calls
And have you heard of the drive-by visits bringing love and attention to those who need it now.
Shut out: To limit activity or contact from outside. During this time of crisis, many doors are closed. But our doors don’t have to be closed. It’s a time to share what we have with someone who is in need. And we certainly can’t shut out our friends. Let them hear from you. The Sunday school can keep the lines open so we can experience togetherness regardless.
Shut-down: To darken a place or close. If the church doors are closed to the public, outdoors in these spring months is a good place to be to worship – parking lot services can be a great blessing.We can lift the “darkness” by letting our light shine. As children of God, put on the works of light and dispel the darkness from people’s lives as they try to cope with sickness and anxiety.
Shut off: To prevent the passage of power. How is your spiritual health? Just because there are limitations and shut-offs in the physical, we seek the “inner might” from God. There is an old song that goes, “Central’s never busy, always on the line; You can call on Jesus anytime.” Don’t neglect your worship and devotion in the home. God will empower you with wisdom and grace to be victorious over every obstacle.
Shut of: To be made free of. It’s a good time to “Put on the garment of praise For the spirit of heaviness; Lift up your voice to God. Praise with the Spirit And with understanding; Oh magnify the Lord.” Get rid of the weariness and open up your heart to God’s blessings.
Shut up: To stop or cause to stop talking. Are we spending our energy to complain, gripe, murmur or place blame? Our task is to be encouragers and not to give heed to the naysayers. Remember that God is in charge. If we say anything, let it be to the glory of God and to the edification of Christ and the Church. The world around us may be in chaos, but we are not of this world.
Shut-eye: “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6.) “Well, I think I will take a little vacation during this time, sleep late and take it easy while I’m staying in. It’s a good excuse for doing nothing.” Don’t give in to the easy acceptance of “can’t do anything.” Be alert to God’s nudges. Make a “to-do” list and start being a blessing to someone.