2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (NIV)

Throughout this pandemic, I have been collecting British stamps. I am doing this for two reasons: firstly, I’m gathering them in several albums to give to my grandson in years to come. I hope he appreciates the stamps as something that I personally put together for him during a time of crisis. Secondly, I needed something in the evening to take me away from the television and my obsession with the news. I was becoming overwhelmed and depressed with the situation which was affecting my faith and relationships. I thought that if I did something quietly and peacefully it would bring down my levels of anxiety and distress. It worked.

I rediscovered my boyhood joy of collecting stamps. The colors, the artistry, and the events depicted on the stamps – all brought back memories from my childhood and remembrances of historic celebrations and commemorations. It helped me to escape from the pressures of the present pandemic into a past world that I cherished. It has been a wonderful godsend to me and has kept me balanced, focused, and determined to get through this critical time.

Stamps are really postal seals that are used by us to guarantee that a letter or package will be successfully sent from one place to another. Most of the stamps that I have collected have been purchased online from all over the world. It has been delightful to receive letters from folks on the other side of the planet who share this wonderful hobby. I’ve also realized that the stamps I collect have their own individual stories of messages and packages, letters and notes sent by people years ago. It’s amazing to think that something which began its journey in someone else’s life has ended up in an album that I will pass on to my grandson.

When I read today’s Bible verses, I was reminded of the seal of ownership – the stamp of approval, if you like – which God gives to us through Jesus. And with the Spirit’s blessing within our hearts, we are guaranteed a better and brighter future to come. I like that idea, especially during this pandemic. It gives me hope for the years to come and peace throughout this present time.

Q: What have I done during this pandemic to sustain me and bring me peace?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the greatest gift in our earthly lives and by God’s seal, we are stamped with Your love, grace, and approval. Help us throughout this present crisis and enable us to discover new or old ways to find hope, peace, and love. In Your Holy Name, we thankfully pray. Amen.