Christians profess to believe that Jesus walks with us through life in it’s entirety. We believe the love and compassion of Jesus is with us in crisis, in celebration, and every moment between those bookends. When we experience the compassion of Christ, we naturally find ourselves extending that compassion to neighbor. It’s a relevant word as Covid-19 has introduced fear into many hearts and, in turn, we find ourselves assuming a posture of self-protection and selfishness.  

Where is God in all of this? 

Friends, I do not believe that God threw this virus onto the world as a form of punishment or judgement. However, I do think there is tremendous temptation for us to to turn this virus into a god that ultimately demands our fear and devotion alike.

  • Jesus doesn’t demand our devotion. Rather he draws near, walks with us, and inspires our devotion through faithful compassion. 
  • Jesus doesn’t delight in our fear. Rather he promises to bring peace and courage amidst the fear. 
  • Jesus doesn’t relish in our isolation. Rather, he promises companionship through the presence of the Holy Spirit and the gift he gives us in one another. 
  • Jesus never said “this” would be easy. Life happens….chaos happens…..struggle is part of the deal. The promise Jesus makes to us is daily presence and daily bread. 

In these days of anxiety and distrust…..

  • Let us re-commit ourselves to the nurturing of our faith. Let us commit to pray continually and remain connected to the source of our salvation. 
  • Let us commit to keep our hearts open to the holy nudges that move us toward our neighbors. 
  • Let us resist the urge to hoard anything that our neighbors might need and trust that God will provide sustenance….one day at a time. 
  • Let us commit to protect the most vulnerable through the exercise of best practices AND also exhibit courage in movement toward our neighbors. We know that God has given researchers, doctors, and community leaders the wisdom they need in helping guide us through this next stretch of time. We also know that our faith compels us to follow Christ wherever he leads us. We will need to seek wisdom and courage as we lean into the tension of these two truths. 
  • Let us avoid making assumptions about others. We don’t know the physical, mental, and spiritual challenges our neighbors are struggling with. 
  • Let us assume the best in each other and see each of our neighbors through the eyes of Christ. 

Whereas, there is nothing beautiful about the hardship that is taking place in various corners of the world, there is tremendous beauty in our response to that hardship. Jesus will give us the creativity we need for the moment at hand. He is helping to carry our burdens along the way so that we can use our hands and feet as an extension of his own. This is a moment to practice what we preach …. loving God…and loving our neighbors as ourselves. 

Yours in Christ, 

Sterling W. Severns, Pastor

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