Day 348 | Tuesday, 2 March 2021
COVID-19 update for the county as of 2-26-2021: total cases 7,525; 124 active cases; 176 in isolation; 137 deaths; 1,975 cases in 14701 zip; 1,367 in Dunkirk, 887 in Fredonia and 299 in Lakewood. In our country we have reached 28.6 million cases with over 513,000 deaths.
Today, I am appreciative of welcoming a new month. March brings with it the “spring ahead” of our clocks (March 14th), the first day of spring (March 20th) and the beginnings of life returning to the earth. Already, I am seeing our snow drops protruding from the earth. Our Lenten rose made it through the winter and is looking good. Later in the month, I will begin planting seeds to grow plants for transplanting outdoors in May. I probably will wander over toward the chapel area on some good days and continue cutting down thorny wild rose bushes in an attempt to clean up the area. I will also retrieve the SD cards from some of the trail cameras and see what activity was recorded over the past several weeks.
Does this sound like I am anxious to put winter behind me and move into the next season? Yes, it does and yes, I do.
This year March also brings with it a reminder that it was March 2020 when our lives changed dramatically with the arrival of the COVID-19 virus; the wearing of masks; social distancing; the shut-down of restaurants, churches, small businesses. Travel came to a stand still for many of us. We learned to differentiate between essential and non-essential businesses and workers. I think we could certainly say that March 2020 roared into our lives like a lion.
There is no question that those of us who were listening to the scientists over this past year, no matter what our ages, went through some new learning experiences. We did our part to stay safe and to look out for one another. Primarily, we reaffirmed our faith in God who loves us and promised to be with us along the journey. As affirmed in Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” We trusted God. Walking by faith and not by sight is seldom easy. God’s love for us is truly greater than our fears and insecurities. I believe that over the past year we found that we had new opportunities to make decisions not rooted in our fears but grounded in God’s love.
I’ll admit that there were some-times during the past year when worry and fear took a front seat for many of us. I also know that, because of who we are, we were able to restore our trust in God to help us walk “through” the days of anxiety. Philippians 4:13 (Beth’s favorite) “I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.”
What are you looking forward to during March 2021?
Holy God, we welcome this new month for all the possibilities that are yet to be discovered. We thank you for helping us help one another plod our way through the winter season. We look forward to the signs of Spring and renewed life. Lord, open the windows and doors of our lives and let the freshness of your spirit blow through, stopping along the way to give us a necessary boost. Lord, Hear our prayers. Amen.
Today: Prayers for the small business owners who are doing all they can to survive and come back to life.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus