No, I don’t love the pain, suffering, and loss that COVID has dealt our world. I don’t like the isolation or the friction between the many factions that evolved from COVID health management. But there is an aspect of what COVID caused that I love. The COVID pandemic has reawaken the Church.
A haven and a hope
Somehow, many devout Christians wandered into thinking that churches having exceptionally nice stuff was good for churches – prominent buildings, fancy sanctuaries, luxury vans: then came COVID. Suddenly, these grand edifices sat empty, but their congregations still lived.
There were messages to be preached, weddings and funerals to be done, hungry and hurting people that still needed help. Nice buildings didn’t do those things, those that are alive in Christ Jesus did those things. The Church was the Church even when there were no walls, no ceilings, no doors.
I am so very thankful for Zoom® church services. They have certainly helped many Christians to stay connected to their congregations, but local churches represent Christ to their local communities. They are a haven and a hope. When the churches closed it impacted people, even people that were “unchurched.” Did we not remember:
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,”Philippians 1:29
Finding Christ in Christianity
As believers, we have a calling, a purpose that God conceived for us before Creation. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) God doesn’t suspend our calling when our path is difficult to walk. I am not at all encouraging anyone to act foolishly. As representatives of Jesus, we can’t react to events the way the rest of humanity reacts, for their reaction, for the most part, is for their own self interests.
During 2020 a precious missionary friend of mine began using Zoom® to teach Bible classes in India and Nigeria. She learned how to do this because of COVID.
My wife’s home church is a country church. The size of the congregation is small. They set up a Facebook channel for members that wanted to self-quarantine, but the church didn’t close. They continued to meet to pray, worship, and preach the Word of God as a congregation. What happened was that people with no affiliation to the church found their channel and began watching! COVID expanded the church’s reach.
A friend of mine is a member of a church that, even before COVID, had begun focusing on home church meetings. They have a large congregation, but they felt God’s leading to make the church more intimate, more personal. COVID had negligible impact on this church, but COVID reinforced their decision.
I 😡 COVID
So, you see, I hate COVID and the carnage it has caused, but I see new life in the Church, and for that, I give thanks to God. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
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