In this time of social distancing many people are wondering about the impact of all this on their life in the church. They’re concerned that they will no longer have a place of sanctuary to go to, a place of peace, a place of fellowship. Some are concerned that if they miss church, they will be missing out on an opportunity to experience the Kingdom of God. To those people, I say, let’s look at this thing with
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus told his disciples that the Kingdom of God is among us (Luke 17:21). It resides in the hearts and souls and minds of each and every believer. The Apostle Paul referred to the church as the body of Christ. He told the church in Ephesus that we are all one in the Spirit. One body. One spirit. One faith. One Lord. One baptism. One God the Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in all and all (Ephesians 4:3). In other words, God is everywhere. And God is with you. And God is in you, even now as you shelter in place.
So while we are not able to worship in a brick-and-mortar building because we are ordered to maintain our social distancing, there will be no spiritual distancing among us. The church is still vibrant. Today, we come together to touch and agree, spirit to spirit.
Psalm 46:10 says, “be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” This scripture is so applicable to our present situation.
It has not escaped my attention that this year the Lenten season coincides with the COVID-19 outbreak. Both occasions call for prayer and sacrifice. ￼During this pandemic and even throughout the Lenten season, we’ve had to strip down to the bare bones and take a no nonsense approach to life.
Through it all, we’ve learned to embrace new ways and new things that keep us safe and help us to survive. We’ve had to be still, relying on our faith to sustain us. And we’ve had to wait.￼￼
We don’t know how long it will take for this pandemic to run its course. But we have a certain confidence ￼that God is on our side.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God speaks through the prophet: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God loves us and has our best interest at heart. Believers make no one mistake about this.￼ So, we stand on God’s word today. We continue to trust God‘s eternal plan. And we acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
Let’s continue to come together in a virtual environment to support one another. In doing so, we will help each other endure until we get to the other side of this pandemic. While we shelter in place, we will be still and affirm that God is in control.
Reflection on Psalm 36:7, 9 How precious is your unfailing love, oh God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. … For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.
I’ve heard people say that when they were younger they needed a night light because they were afraid of the dark. You see, their immature imaginations envisioned all kinds of goblins and scary creatures lying in wait in the shadows. They were afraid that harm would come to them if they were not able to see what was behind and under the objects in their rooms.
Some adults still have such fears. They want to be able to see all the answers. They believe that the more light shed on a situation, the less there will be lurking in the shadows to deceive them and to disturb their peace. What they fail to acknowledge is that artificial, man-made light can be deceptive. Even after tons of details have been dragged to the surface, the truth still remains unclear.
Our text suggests that perhaps, such people are looking at matters with the wrong headlamp. The Psalmist tells us that God is the light by which we should see. When God sheds light on a situation, the fogginess is washed away and we are able to discern that which is invisible to the human eye. God is the fountain of life. The light of God can help us see around and through the stuff that creeps in the corners, and there is no need to be afraid.
When we discern life through the light that God provides, we are able to see that, as long as God loves us, we have nothing to worry about. God’s eternal light will enable us to look at our situations through the illumination of time. And when we do so, we will see clearly that our God is in control. We will be able to detect a pathway toward spiritual shelter and find peace and protection beneath the shadow of God’s wings.