THE SPANISH FLU – 1918

Gen.24:63 – Isaac went out in the evening into the field to meditate.

Meditation is a foreign concept to many modern day Christians. Many think of it in some metaphysical sense or connect it to some form of eastern religion. Actually, meditation is an important Biblical practice. In today’s verse we see Isaac sitting in a field meditating. He is carrying on a tradition handed down from his father Abraham. The Bible teaches us the importance of meditating on the works of God and on the promises of His word. In our high energy and high stress lifestyle meditation is not optional but essential for our survival. Maybe with the forced quiet time on all of us we can restore the practice of meditation to our lives. I recently ran across an article about the Spanish Flu and its effect on churches in 1918, apparently they had to close down as well. Here is a quote from Rev. Fletcher Parrish, pastor of Eleventh Avenue Methodist Church in Birmingham, Al. preached on Genesis 24:63 and reflected on the opportunity for a true Sabbath.

“Meditation is very profitable for the soul, but the rush of the world is so great at present that very little time is given to cogitation and reflection….Men think they have no time to walk out in the fields for contemplation, or to sit quietly by the fireside and muse. However, we have a God-given opportunity for this helpful indulgence by reason of this unique Sabbath which has dawned upon us. Out of necessity our churches are closed, and all public gatherings must be discontinued. We cannot go motoring, and we would not go to business if we could, and even the fields are dangerous lest we should come in contact with goldenrod and ragweed and take influenza. But we can sit by the fire and give ourselves to thought and reflection which will bring great profit to us.”

So maybe the Lord has used this sort of things in times passed to get our attention. Hopefully He has gotten our attention by now so that many folks can go back to work. Hopefully we have learned “to be still and know that He is God”. Meditation is the time to restore ourselves spiritually on a daily basis so that we can enter His rest in the midst of all of our labors. Maybe its time to walk out into a field for some quiet meditation.

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