It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
Chances are you are stuck at home with this COVID-19 Virus going on just like I am, and I’m sure you can think of a few others that are too. What would Jesus want us to be doing right now?
The Author Charles Dickens wrote those words in his 1859 book A Tale of Two Cities. A story of two similar men who had opposite views on the world around them.
We are all facing a major crisis right now worldwide with the Novel COVID-19 Virus Pandemic. The impact of this virus is now hitting the United States where I am really fast and hard.
If you turn your TV or surf the web you see stories of hope, and stories of distress worldwide because of this virus.
Many of us have been asked to leave our jobs and stay at home with our families and children isolated from our regular activities while this virus runs its course. My State requires us to wear masks to go shopping With this, I started to think
â€œWhat would Jesus want us to be doing right now?”
Chances are pretty high unless you are an emergency services worker or an essential provider of services your interaction with the public is greatly limited. Here in Maryland gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited, all businesses not considered essential services which include all the churches have been ordered closed.
We need to remember especially right now, that the â€œChurchâ€ is the people. Even if we are restricted for the sake of public health does not mean our love as Christians has to be concealed.
12 â€œDo to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
So, with no churches, no real gatherings, how can we do our part? How can we â€œLove our Neighborâ€ by reaching out if we are not supposed to directly interact with them?
- Call your neighbors (Especially the Elderly or Disabled) ask them how they are, ask them if they have everything they need. Chances are they are surviving ok, but maybe they could just use someone to talk to. It doesnâ€™t have to be a long conversation, but just knowing someone cares means a lot. Thatâ€™s Loving Your Neighbor.
- If you are going to the store, offer to pick some stuff up for them so they donâ€™t have to risk exposure. You donâ€™t actually have to hand it to them, call them and arrange to leave it on their doorstep. Itâ€™s the little things that make the biggest waves.
- Call other families, exchange ideas on how to keep your children entertained, food ideas, even if it is just general conversation. Granted you can use social media as well.
Iâ€™m sure if the tables were turned, you would appreciate the same. I know I would.
The more we help and support each other the more comfortable this entire event will be. I believe this is exactly what Jesus would expect of us in this time.
Jesus would want us to have faith,
7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)
In this world, we have faced many trials and tribulations. Even though we may experience tough times and lose a sense that things will recover we have always come back stronger because of those experiences. Jesus would want us to have faith in that this is all part of a larger plan that will come to better things. We have not been forgotten.
6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.â€
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
Use this time with your family to grow together. Spend time with your children that you normally would be unable to do. Jesus loved the children, he believed that they are one of the most precious things in the world.
13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
14 But Jesus said, â€œLet the children come to me. Donâ€™t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.â€ 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
Matthew 19:13-15 (NLT)
Use this time to teach them. If you donâ€™t have a Bible in your home thatâ€™s ok. Reach out to us and we would be happy to help you get one. In the meantime there are some great online bibles and resources available, children’s activities, and the like. There is no better teacher of Godâ€™s word for a child than their parents. Show your children the benefit of helping your neighbors and looking out for those around you. I bet it leaves a lasting impression.
Yes, it is true that worship services in many places have been canceled. Many of these churches have taken to streaming modified services online. Some of them are actually really good. Iâ€™m not going to recommend anything specific. I was hoping to be sharing messages online myself during this time but currently I am recovering from a severe respiratory infection. Praise the Lord it was not COVID-19, but my voice is still a wreck.
So in wrapping up,
- Call on your Neighbors
- Have Faith
- And Teach and spend time with Your Children
I think that is not only what Jesus would want, but also what is good for all of us during this time.
Iâ€™m praying frequently for our emergency responders, medical workers, and service workers who are keeping the essential services going during this time. Iâ€™m also praying that this virus settles down soon, though I know it will not ever be soon enough.