Our new reality hit us last month like one of the worst sci-fi horror movies we’ve ever seen. Only this time, it was real.
The headlines hit the faith community just as hard as they hit elsewhere and no industry was spared: restaurants, resorts, travel agencies, and on and on.
In many situations over the last several generations, churches have been the holdout places where we could go during difficult times. Whether it was racial riots or times of civil unrest, war, recession or depression, or just about anything else we can think of, we as people of faith have gathered together to do what we do best: worship, pray, and lift one another up. And, of course, this included whether the “church” was in a physical building, or someone’s home, a school, a barn, or wherever we could meet.
That has all shifted.
As of this writing, we were still in the ‘learning’ phase of the coronavirus and our leadership at our church made the difficult decision to suspend virtually all gatherings, worship and otherwise.
Just as with your churches, that decision was absolutely necessary. But it also has some long-lasting and serious implications, for several reasons.
Meeting to worship is absolutely essential for our long-term well-being, and that’s especially true for those who count on the Body of Christ as their family, in so many ways.
Couple that with the fact that church-goers get out of the habit of going, giving, worshiping, etc, and the effects of this pandemic will likely be felt for quite some time.
There IS some good news in all of this. In fact, I believe that hard times bring out the best in us, especially as Christians. First, the Body of Christ will be fine. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, as is the Gospel.
Secondly, this is the time to reach out and check on our neighbors and demonstrate the love of Christ in a hurting world.
And lastly, all is NOT doom and gloom. Your church body can reach people using methods we didn’t have in previous crises (texting, social media, delivery services, etc.) to minister to those who are suffering during these difficult times.
With no intention of sounding cliché, God is in control. And God absolutely cares about us. May we put our faith into action in reaching those who are hurting the most.