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FROM THE PULPIT: 'Back to basics' is key in times of stress

For the past two-plus years we, as a world, a nation, and individuals, have been going through unprecedented challenges and hardships. There have been riots, some of the worst political upheavals in modern times, a pandemic that is still wreaking havoc on humanity. There have been heated and volatile arguments about vaccines and masks. 

We have seen some of the most un-Christian behavior even among Christians throughout all of this. The cry and attitude about personal rights has taken precedence over all else.

People are trying to find something that will provide a sense of normalcy. What that boils down to for many is taking care of one’s own needs to the exclusion of others’.

Awhile back a good friend told me how he enjoyed playing baseball when he was in high school. He loved the game, but he hit a slump. His coach noticed and told him that when things started to slip, it was time to get back to the basics.

The coach told John to just go to the batting cage and simply work on his swing, to pay attention to his form. He said to simply play catch with another team member, throwing each other grounders and pop-ups. Just toss the ball back and forth without trying to make each throw perfect. Have fun with it. Get back to the basics. And it worked!

Recently, the phrase “get back to the basics” came back to me in a powerful way.

It seems to me many would benefit from getting back to the basics of the Christian faith – loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; loving your neighbor as yourself; caring for the least of those among us; remembering the words of Jesus, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” 

By extension, that makes us the brothers and sisters of our Lord – and of one another. And as such, we are to love and care for one another.

Our Lord calls us to share his love as being part of his family. Being bound together means we care for one another, we help one another, we look out for one another, we do what is best for one another – even for the stranger in need.

When we recognize that someone is hurting, afraid, sick, or challenged, we are given the opportunity to be God’s instruments. We are the ones who can speak comforting words to another, perform acts of kindness, provide support to help see another through their difficult time. We are the ones who can be proactive on their behalf.

Let’s get back to the basics and do our Lord proud.

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: FROM THE PULPIT: 'Back to basics' is key in times of stress