that these times, such as the coronavirus pandemic, aren't frightening simply because you have faith. But whether you've spent your entire life coming to know Jesus or have been introduced to him in later years, you probably know that God has a plan for you and that it's bigger than whatever is happening in this moment.
For seniors of faith at Bethesda Gardens assisted living community in Terre Haute, turning to the Scriptures and worship might be a big part of dealing with any type of fear, anxiety or uncertainty. Often, we turn to the faith community for additional support in these times, and seniors of faith might be used to attending worship in nearby Terre Haute congregations. They might also enjoy the Bible study, church and devotional times scheduled within the community.
Sometimes, however, the crisis or concern you're dealing with might keep you from venturing out. Church closures due to COVID-19 and general worry about gathering in large groups, for example, has made some worship and Bible study opportunities impossible to access. But even outside of a time of pandemic, an individual illness or condition might make leaving your assisted living apartment for Bible study a big feat on certain days. And sometimes you simply want the comfort of God's Word from the convenience of your own bed or living room because you're tired, sad or just not up for personal interaction.
Whatever reason you want to interact with God's Word in a more private manner — whether it's your own choice or forced by circumstances — there are numerous options online. Here are just a few to get you started.
The Bible Study Tools website offers a verse of the day you can meditate on as well as a wide range of devotionals to read. You can read the Bible in numerous versions on this site and access study and research tools such as concordances and commentaries. Under the Tools section, you can access sermons, Sunday school lessons, videos and audio books, all of which help you connect with God's Word in a way that works best for you.
Bible Gateway offers all the features that Bible Study Tools does, including online access to a huge selection of Bible versions. This tool is a great option if you want to switch between versions of the Bible to better study a certain passage. You can also sign up to take part in Bible reading plans, such as those that prompt you to read through the whole Bible during the course of a year. Seniors that prefer to interact with Bible study on a tablet or smartphone can download the Bible Gateway app for Android or iPhone to get all these benefits on their mobile device.
Easily click between versions of the Bible to study passages or search the online Bible Atlas to see maps and other visuals to help you understand the setting of biblical stories. Bible Hub actually brings together free tools from a number of sites, including a biblical encyclopedia, commentary, devotionals and concordances. Greek and Hebrew versions of the text, multilingual Bibles, Scripture timelines and sermons are also all available through this site, and you can access apocryphal books to dive deeper into the information surrounding some Scripture.
One of the positive things that has come out of the COVID-19 crisis for seniors and people of all ages is the sheer amount of worship opportunities available online. Churches across the nation are putting services, Bible studies, devotionals and other materials online. Seniors have their pick of literally tens of thousands of sermons and digital worship opportunities each week.
If you're living in an assisted living community, you might be able to log in and worship with a previous home church for the first time in a while. You can also watch sermons from a wide range of pastors and churches throughout the week, enjoying praise time anytime.
And if you're craving more connection with others as you study the Scriptures, you can use the internet for that too. Check local church websites to see if they're offering online Bible study. Many are doing so on Facebook live videos or through web conferencing options, such as Zoom. While these tools might seem daunting at first for those who have never used them, they're relatively easy to use. All you need is a computer or mobile device with webcam capability and an internet connection.
If you want to get set up for connecting with those outside of your assisted living community during this time — or anytime — consider asking the Bethesda Gardens staff for assistance.