Updated: Jul 9, 2020

People do strange things, and this Year of Our Lord 2020 has been particularly strange. Put those 2 facts together, and you might expect some interesting stories. For example...

A hairdresser in the Netherlands found a creative way of ensuring “safety” between herself and her clients. She cut five holes in an umbrella to reduce the likelihood of transference of coronavirus. There are two holes for arms, two for eyes, and a fifth for eyebrow threading (whatever that may be???).

Kudos for creativity! The client may not catch coronavirus, but I wouldn’t count on the best hair-do of all time. (Would you like the beehive, the topknot, the wedge, or the covid crop?)

Recently I read a news story about an Irish couple who were engaged to be married. Not so unusual; happens all the time. But as I’m sure you know, there is going to be a 2020 twist. (Side note: wouldn’t that be a great name for a dance, or a drink at Sonic?)

To paraphrase Solomon in the book of Proverbs, there are times when a person will think, “Hey, this is a good idea!”, only to find out in the end that it was definitely NOT a good idea. That particular concept has been true in centuries past, and we humans continue to prove it today. That is why emergency rooms are so popular (and expensive)!

When the couple had first met, they were attending Ulster University. I’m not sure what they were studying, but I’m going to guess it wasn’t “logic” or “risk management.” You see, while on vacation, they decided to do - as the Irish say - a pub crawl. Inasmuch as they are Irish, as were my ancestors, it doesn’t surprise us that this began at 9:00 in the morning! Said crawling went on well into the afternoon.

Since we’ve referred to an Old Testament verse, it’s only fair we now bring in one from the New Testament. Again paraphrasing: “Don’t get drunk.” Why? Well, there are many reasons, one of which is...well, see the paragraph above where I quote Solomon.

You see, after crawling into and out of a few pubs, they were, by their own admission, “a bit tipsy.” And when one is a bit tipsy, one tends to do things that one would not do when one has not been tipping the bottle. This couple, in this state of “mind,” decided it would be a good idea to get matching tattoos of their upcoming wedding date, namely October 16, 2020.

Now, while this will seem to some like a “sweet idea,” there are a lot of things that can go wrong between the time of the tattoo and the time of the wedding. I’ll not list out all the possibilities I can think of, but there was one that probably no one would have foreseen...namely, the COVID pandemic.

I’m sure that you can now see where this is headed. As the virus began to turn into a world-wide crisis, our happy couple became concerned. They contacted the wedding venue (which, by the way, wasn’t a church-house) to inquire whether the place and date were still going to work. The answer, of course, was “no.” Now, I’m not sure why the haste to cancel - I mean, even as I write this it is only mid-June. Regardless the rationale, the answer stood. The couple must have really wanted this venue - even more so than the date - because the wedding has been postponed.

Thankfully the couple has taken it in stride, and they’ve set a new date in 2021. However - and this is the twist - etched into their arms is the 2020 date. I don’t have a tattoo, but I do know they are a bit difficult to change. Thus, etched into their arms is the date they wanted to get married, but couldn’t because of the covid curse. The silver lining is that the date is in Roman numerals, so not many people would even know it refers to a date.

Previously I mentioned that I don’t have a tattoo, which is true. However, by the grace of God, there is something etched into the inside of my body. Scriptures says God has written his laws on our heart, that they are etched there permanently. How thankful we should be that God doesn’t change, and that He knows the future. In particular, I’ll mention that God’s word does not change. We can count on Him and what He says for all time, centuries-on-end. And this is a good thing, since he has - paraphrasing again - tattooed His word on our heart. And no virus - nor anything or anyone else - will change that! No date needed; it is forever, just like His promise!

That's my pastoral perspective. Thanks for reading!

Pastor Mike Rodgers

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