By Gordon Ovenshine
Everyone stuck at home has said it: I'm so bored. While we can't control the trajectory of COVID-19, we can embrace a purpose-driven response to the pandemic. Instead of idlyness (starting with me) or wiling away the hours on a computer, let's use this time to study the Word, seek the face of God and be the church.
There are millions who need to hear the Gospel. I pray God will use this time of crisis for His glory. In the meantime, our charge is to be faithfulful, serve where we can see His face.
Love Your Neighbor
I am thankful to attend a church that makes sacrifices, for the good of others. This isn't always easy or convenient. In response to COVID-19, Christ Church formed a Task Force. Pastors and volunteers outreach to parishioners and recently began distributing food to those who need an assist because of job loss.
To stop in and see staffers in masks going about the business of the Lord moved and convicted me. I kept thinking, maybe their example can infect someone with Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:2 teaches, "Carry each other's burdons, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ."
The church has become a major online presence, keeping us connected and building community. Log on for one of the virtual services or lunchtime praise sessions and attendees post comments about missing each other. The church's social media platforms publish daily prayers and devotionals. It reminds me of a family vacation washed out by rain. The church has grown closer.
In his characteristally blunt manner, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to serve: "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
Avoiding The Blame Game
Troll social media and it becomes evident some Christians interpret the pandemic as divine punishment or an end-time pestilance. Anne Graham Lotz counters this type of thinking by saying God is crying with us through natural disasters, but it is a fallen world. It's important for us not to forget His promises, regardless of circumstances. Victory is ours Hebrews 10:35: "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded."
When God finished His creation, he declared that it was "very good. There was no sin, sickness or death. All of the bad of this world resulted from the Fall. So it's not valid to speculate about why God allowed the coronavirus to affect good people. Remember what Jesus said to the rich young ruler, "No one is good but One, that is, God." (Mark 10:8)
One of the songs our music minsters sing is King of My Heart. I've been using a lyric line as a reminder of our focus. "Let the king of my heart be the mountain where I run."