We are a unique country boasting of exceptionalism.
Yet, our current government agencies have come clean.
They admit that COVID-19 is revealing weaknesses within nearly all of our country’s institutions.
It’s time we Christ-followers in the Church do the same.
We are an odd believing community boasting of faith.
Responses to the current COVID-19 crisis is revealing deep, fault lines within our theology and in our social practices.
In one crisis—that of gun violence in places of worship—we argue that we must defend our worshipping believers from gun-toting intruders.
Why? We fear death at the means of flying bullets.
In this current crisis—COVID-19— many are stating that we do not, nor should we fear death. Some recklessly recommend that we disregard the advice of medical experts and governmental agencies.
Now is the time for the church to come clean!
How might we rightly put our faith in action?
The words of Christ—these with which we are all familiar—give us guidance.
- “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
- “Love the Lord your God, with your whole heart, soul mind and strength. The second is like unto it: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is not commandment greater than this (Mark 12:29-31).
This means our love for others is greater than our love of self.
It demands that we hunker down & follow recommendations from the experts … not for our sake, but for the sake of others!
NO FEAR OF DEATH?
Those who hope in Christ claim they do not fear death, yet we have demonstrated time and time again that we actually do.
In my own personal life—when my husband faced death in a recent illness—our family and the medical team did all the we could to keep him alive. We were lauded for doing so. We were not encouraged to let him go, because we do not fear death.
In Matthew 4 we read of the moment when the great deceiver tempted Jesus to prove himself to be the Son of God.
The answer Jesus gave then, is the same answer for today:
- “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” to prove you are a faithful Christ-follower (Matt 4:5-7).
Those words—”if you are Son of God,” which were addressed to Jesus—may easily be replaced with, “IF, you are a child of God, why not disregard the global safety precautions to prove to the world that you are a Christian?”
Let’s not be deceived by the enemy to dismiss recommended ways of preserving life.
Death—according to Christian theology—is the work of the enemy. Let’s not be duped into playing into the enemy’s hand!
How will the world know we follow Christ today?
Doesn’t COVID-19 give us the perfect opportunity to show-off our faith?
Again we hear from Jesus—who shortly before his own death—told us how to let the world know we are his disciples.
For one, it is not by strutting about in the streets during a pandemic. Instead, it is evidenced by our Loving of One Another (John 13:35).
There’s no doubt that we’ve been doing a poor job of loving our neighbor and one another in the last few decades.
In order to come clean — we must put action to our words!
That “agape” love that we speak and preach about—that very love—must be extended beyond our church communities to those in our local, national, and global community.
How is love to be manifested during COVID-19?
The CDC and medical advisors—who by the way are daily laying down their own lives—are not even asking us to lay down our lives.
They are simply asking that we demonstrate compassion for one another, for our neighbors—by laying low in our own homes for a few weeks.
Is that too much to ask? I think not.