Personally, I feel overwhelmed and powerless against the cataclysmic changes that brought so many disruptions and changes to our daily life and our worldview. As a pastor, as a Christian as a citizen of society, what should be my response?
Is this what God means by spiritual blindness? At first, you think you can manage as other senses provide clues; but suddenly something shifts, like COVID-19, and you are thrown off balance. Alarms in your brain scream out as you recognize approaching danger. Your spiritual eyesight becomes crucial, but it is like you are blindfolded. How can you take next steps if you can’t see where to place your feet?
Years ago, I agreed to visit and preach at the smallest church on our district. On a good Sunday there would be ten people, on a bad Sunday, none. The new pastor was an enthusiastic, lay speaker and pastor want-to-be, who was full of energy, asked lots of questions, was a little brash, at times and often a little annoying. I was not thrilled to be there.
As a manager, I learned to spend more time encouraging employees to treat people honestly and fairly. I still enjoyed meeting customers, but our work became a team effort utilizing the best of our gifts and talents for the good of the business. Being an encourager helped me succeed and stay employed.
The Coronavirus Crisis forced Churches to close their buildings for the safety of their members and greater community, but COVED-19 did not dampen our resolve to be the church. Leaders quickly began exchanging emails suggesting ideas on how our churches could support each other and our neighbors during the crisis. The immediate question? How would we worship together on Sunday morning?
If Easter signifies more than bunnies, brightly colored eggs and new clothes then hard questions must be answered. Jesus resurrection has to be more than an interesting story celebrated annually? The Corona-virus Crisis has dramatically illustrated the need for answers to significant concerns. Where is God when the world is suffering? How does Easter Sunday help us find needed answers and hope when facing significant Monday problems?
Today, when you read about the health and financial crisis due to the Coronavirus, remember that many real individuals are living with the consequences. Whether through illness or job loss or receiving a drastic reduction in your retirement benefits. Health and financial crisis means tough times for most and tragedy for others.
What is happening in Italy today could be happening in the United States tomorrow. COVID-19 is not overblown but a genuine crisis impacting our community, our country and our world. How should we as Christians and as the church respond? How can we demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ and be the light of the world?