Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world …” Matthew 5:13;14 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “A Christian response to the COVID 19 pandemic.”
As we follow the ministry of Jesus through the Gospel accounts, we see that He was drawn to those who were suffering. He healed a leper and an unclean woman with a flow of blood that made her impure; he raised the dead; He allowed Himself to be touched by a prostitute who was considered ritually unclean; He dined with sinners and outcasts; and on and on it went. He then taught His followers to go and do likewise – and they have been doing so ever since.
Down through the ages, for almost 2000 years, during plagues, famines, natural disasters, and much more, Christians have always viewed such periods of mass human suffering as an opportunity to “be Jesus” to those who were suffering. Whether that meant caring for the sick, providing food to the hungry and water to the thirsty, clearing debris after a tornado, or comforting the distraught and sharing the Good News of the Gospel, Christians have a history of treating times like that as an opportunity to be salt and light as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
That continues to be true today. As the world is currently wrestling with the outbreak and rapid spread of the COVID 19 virus, and as governments and health agencies scramble to respond to it, many people are succumbing to fear and panic. We see news reports of crowds of people storming to big box stores, clearing shelves of basic commodities, fighting in the aisles over rolls of toilet paper, and all sorts of other outrageous behavior driven by fear and uncertainty.
As sad and serious as the current situation is, it’s also an excellent opportunity for Christians to shine for Jesus. This is the time for us to wade into the chaos and be the agents of peace, the voices of reason, the ones who help to make things better instead of worse.
On Sunday March 15th at Oak Hill Baptist Church I preached a sermon about the COVID 19 outbreak. In that sermon I attempted to separate fact from fiction in order to dispel some of the misinformation that is being spread about this situation, and I also offered a Biblical perspective and a roadmap forward for individual Christians and for the Church. You can listen to that sermon on our website at www.oakhillbaptist.net. Just click on the “listen” tab and select the sermon for March 15, 2020.
In the midst of any crisis and chaos there is always an opportunity for Christians to shine. This is one of those times. I encourage you to shine the light of Christ into the darkness of fear and uncertainty. Be a calming influence and a voice of reason, an agent of peace and love in the midst of panic and human despair.