Interestingly, I discovered that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), allows for the federal government to mandate isolation and/or quarantine citizens to protect people from contagious diseases. (This is what happens to me when I have a bit of extra time on my hands. My mind wanders and I go off on a tangent and it takes me awhile to get to the point. Be patient.) By the way, States also have the authority to mandate isolations or quarantines. Please know that breaking a quarantine has consequences that range from a fine to imprisonment. (There has to be some kind of irony – if you break a mandated quarantine you may be imprisoned.)

Now, before anyone gets all worked up about the intrusiveness of big government, let me reassure you that government-mandated quarantines are very rare. According to the CDC the last time a large-scale isolation and quarantine was enforced was during the infamous Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919.

So far, we’re only under a stay-at-home mandate which allows for us to participate in essential services and activities. Some, however, may have family or friends under an isolation mandate where movement is very limited.  So far a large scale quarantine mandate has not been issued but for many individuals and their families they’ve been under a quarantine mandate.

I don’t like being told what to do; a mandate is not something I take well.  “Staying the lines isn’t always my friend.”  (Surprised by that?) I see a mandate as restrictive and controlling but I invite you to step back and tarry with the essence of the word. A mandate invites, encourages and obligates me to do something and/or to be something.

The word mandate comes from the Latin mandatum “commission, command, order.” The word “Maundy” is a shortened form of “mandatum.”  Maundy Thursday commemorates Christ’s command – or mandate “to love one another.” In John 13:24 we read: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

The new mandate that Christ invites, encourages and obligates us to live a more excellent life.  To live Christ-like.

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,  and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

Reflection Questions:
What does Christ’s mandate to love one another mean to you?
How are you embodying that mandate these days?
Who do you need to remember?

Holy God, from behind my face mask you invite, encourage and obligate me to share your loving, healing and reconciling presence with all. May your Spirit make me strong and discerning, wise and courageous. Keep me persistent in good deeds. Amen.


Worship Opportunities During Holy Week

Good Friday Worship via livestream will take place at noon.  We will be joining the Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church for this service. click here to go to the livestream.

Easter Lilies.  If you would like an Easter Lily you can pick one up at the church, this Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Crestwood Parking Lot (the youth house side). You can also pick up extra to deliver to folks who are not getting out.

Sunday we will start livingstreaming 15 minutes before the service which begins at 9:45 a.m.  Music will fill this time in preparation for Worship.   click here to go to the livestream.

Wednesday Evening Prayer Service via livestream begins at 6:45 p.m. and lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. click here to go to the livestream.



Take a picture of yourself worshiping at home and email it to us. We would like to share with our PIne Shores family on Sunday.

Send prayer requests to

Check out Virtual Children’s Church and JOY Company with Miss Allison by going to Pine Shores Presbyterian Church homepage.

If you would like to receive “These days”, a daily devotion, please email  We have a limited amount.


To view previous readings click HERE