I didn’t want to be another voice using a crisis to write about Jesus. I think I have read enough about the Coronavirus to fill my brain. So I guess I should stop talking about it then and end this article, right?
Well, I do have some thoughts and really find that being quarantined at home isn’t very exciting and while there is still a lot I could be doing, at some point, my stir crazy mind is not letting me focus on other tasks.
It is interesting to hear so many different views on how serious/not serious this pandemic is. Doctors (the supposed experts) don’t even agree. People are panicking and spreading fearful articles as well as their own “Monday morning Quarterback” idea of what it is and isn’t. Sorry, your friend who is a health care worker is saying things at odds with what I heard on the news yesterday. And my own kids’ pediatrician is saying something else. Who do I believe?
I won’t spread any misinformation here. I think we all need to just take the break we’ve been given and stay home for a bit but not panic.
Let me share some thoughts about this from a live video I made yesterday:
In the Book of Esther, we read about a young Jewish woman who ends up being wed to the King of Persia, Ahasuerus (Xerxes). His official, Haman, hated the Jews and didn’t know Esther was Jewish. Esther’s cousin Mordecai found out about a plot Haman had to trick the King into decreeing that all Jews would be put to death. Esther’s bravery came when Mordecai pleaded with her to go to the King and uncover this plot. He said to her that she had been put into this position of Queen “for such a time as this”.
I don’t believe that this virus outbreak that we are dealing with is a coincidence. Do I believe God sent this virus? No. That would not be in God’s nature. Do I believe He is using this as an opportunity? Yes!
Our church has had to adapt as many and create some online video content for our body of believers. We have had to make a Sunday morning assembly and find ways to connect online to continue to meet together and encourage one another. One of our church’s goals this year was that we would help every member become a minister. It is interesting that now with this outbreak of COVID-19, more members of our church are reaching out and finding new ways to love their neighbors and help encourage our church body.
We have had new people call our church office seeking help and people who were not very involved were the first to say, “Send me! I’ll do it. I will go help them.”
With our video assembly for Sunday on YouTube, we reached more people than we normally do on a regular Sunday and our Facebook Live videos have garnered hundreds more views than attendees on a Sunday. People are seeking God in this time. And even more interesting and encouraging, I am witnessing people finding ways to be more kind and share resources for each other. I haven’t seen anything like this since 9/11/01.
Could it be that God is using this as an opportunity to teach us to be more like Jesus? Could it be that He is teaching us what it means for “every member to be a minister”? Could it be that He is using this as a means for us to reach more people with the Gospel online? I think He is teaching us all these things and more.
Could it be that we are having to adapt technologically “for such a time as this”? What will happen once we are allowed to join together in community at our respective church locations? Will we go back to our old ways or is God teaching us to think outside the box (church walls) so that we won’t just go back to “the way we did it” before? This is an opportunity to be changed in ways that we never expected.
We are never promised tomorrow. Jesus is coming again and we need to be vigilant in reaching as much of our world for the Good News. May we continue to think outside the box (church walls). May we learn to adapt to reach more and more people. Pray during this time to be transformed. Pray for healing. Pray that we may be moved into new ways of evangelism for such a time as this.