Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Greetings my friends!
“Where were you when you heard about Pearl Harbor?” “Where were you when you heard about the assassination of JFK?” “Where were you when you heard about 9/11?” These are questions often asked and easily answered by people who lived during these tragic moments in history. “Where were you when you first heard about the Coronavirus?”
Hmmm…. I honestly don’t know. I do know that months before this pandemic truly “hit” home, a sister in Christ at our Saturday night worship shared with me great concern about the outbreak of this unexpected virus in China. I do know that in the span of the past three weeks, my eyes have witnessed precautions being taken at all levels of our government that in my life are unprecedented. I do know that in the last two weeks, “Church” as I knew it has been turned upside down. Leaders of the Church at every level are thoughtfully discerning and praying about how to best shepherd our people through this moment in history.
There is no magic “roadmap” to guide us through this specific moment in history. However, Biblical history itself can shed important “light” upon our path. The Israelites who were in bondage in Egypt for 400 years and then suddenly freed into the dessert faced great uncertainty in their daily living. The early Christian Church worshipping communities as they were considered “enemies” of the state faced great uncertainty in their daily living. The Church during the time of the Reformation, both internally and by external forces lived through a time of incredible uncertainty. The early churches established in the “New Land” lived through a time of great uncertainty. All these moments in history share something incredibly important for you and me to hold on to during these uncertain times. Throughout ALL time and ALL history, our Lord has walked with God’s children through these moments of uncertainty and brought them through their own “time in the wilderness.”
God has NOT abandoned us! God WILL NOT abandon us! God WILL NEVER abandon God’s own!
The decisions that we make now. The way we live out our daily lives and our shared lives together make an incredibly strong proclamation about our faith in God to our neighbors, to one another, and especially to our children. Indeed, my friends we are truly “living history!”
In five, ten, 15, or 20 years from now, what will our youngest believers recall about this unprecedented moment in time that we are now living through? Will they remember that this was a time when their family and their church family grew closer together even when we were forced into social distancing? Will our youngest believers recall that their community of faith continued to reach out to them, keeping them close together and sharing the Word of God with them? Will they fondly remember how this was a time in which they witnessed with their own eyes an unprecedented caring and concern for their neighbors?
A sister in Christ of ours recently wrote “I am, after all, a child of the 60s ... and grew up really believing that if we just reached enough people with the message of love and kindness and peace, we could honestly change the world.” Well my friend… I, and I know you too, still believe this to be true!
Trust God my friends, for God has never and will never abandon us! Love God my friends, for God is supremely worthy of our great love and affection! Love your neighbors my friends, for God desires that we share the love that we have received with those who gather around us. Love yourselves my friends, for the Lord has deemed you each worthy and desires that your life be filled with love in abundance!
Allow the unrelenting and passionate love of our God which pursues us all to literally “be the light” for those in need! Then, our children and their children will be able to look back on this time and recall this moment of history as a time in which God’s children who gathered around them truly lived a life in which God’s light could be seen in all that was accomplished!
Trust God, keep washing those hands, and be at peace!