Responding to the Coronavirus

Hi Church,
I think it is safe to say that this has been a week that most of us did not expect. A lot has changed in the last few days and things still seem to be changing by the hour. With that said, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts about how we should think about what is going on and how God would have us respond. 
Walking in Knowledge
First, and above all I want to encourage you to remember that God good, that God is in control and that we can trust Him. If you are spending much time at all watching the news or scrolling social media you may be fearful. You may be fearful of the virus itself and the threat it presents or you may be fearful of all of the changes and implications that are taking place as people respond. Maybe both. 
I think we can all agree that this has been a week unlike any we have experienced before and we are more aware than normal that we don’t know what tomorrow holds. But, in the midst of this let’s not forget that God is still very much in control and we can trust Him; and our confidence in Him is no small thing (Psalm 91:1-2). We really believe that nothing happens outside of His plan and in times of uncertainty we should find hope in knowing that He has not left us and He will never leave us. 
We don’t know how widely the virus will spread, how long this will last or what the impact will be on our community, but we do know that we can trust God even when things seem uncertain (Psalm 46:1-3).
Walking in Love
A second thing I hope you will recognize is that this is an opportunity for us to show what it means to love those around us with Christ-like love. We should want to love our neighbors well during this time. This has a lot of implications; here are a few. 

  • Speak with love – Stressful situations and situations that bring fear can sometimes lead us to speak and interact with those around us in ways that are not loving. We may not all agree on what is actually going on or how we should respond, but we should strive for love and compassion. Whether we are interacting online, in a store, with our co-workers or with our family, let’s make love our first aim. Let’s be a people who are known for our compassionate responses even when times are hard and people are responding out of heightened fear or worry. 
  • Serve in love – We should also be aware that this may be a time when we have opportunities to love and serve others in unique and significant ways. There may be some who need to stay isolated more than others because of their greater risk, perhaps we can serve them by running errands or getting groceries. There may be others who are out of work or who need childcare. Let’s look for opportunities to work together and support one another and those around us. Please be aware of others in our church family, check on one another and check on your neighbors. (If you know of a particular way our church can help someone, or if you need anything, please reach out.)
  • Share hope in love – In a time of uncertainty, we may have more opportunities to speak to others about our hope and confidence in Christ. You may have conversations that otherwise would not have taken place. Let’s not miss these opportunities to share with others our source of hope and the confidence we have in knowing Jesus, both for this life and for the life to come. 

Walking in Wisdom
One way to love and serve our neighbors right now is to be careful, safe and follow the instructions of health officials and those in authority. 
I won’t take time to list all the things that you are already being told, but let’s be vigilant and do what we can to protect one another and keep one another safe. And if you are at heightened risk of illness or infection, please be careful and let us know if there is anything we can do to serve you. 
Of course this also means that we have some decisions to make about how we will gather and stay connected when we cannot gather. Watch the website, Facebook and email for updates.
Walking in Prayer 
Lastly, this should not be left unsaid or minimized: Let’s be a people of prayer. 

  • Pray for those who are sick, that they would be healed
  • Pray for those who are fearful, that they would find hope and confidence in God
  • Pray for those who lead as they make hard and weighty decisions
  • Pray that we would respond well as a church in how we love and serve those around us
  • Pray for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel in the midst of this situation 

As always, know that you are loved and that you are not alone. If you need anything please do not hesitate to reach out. 

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