[The Shepherd’s Echo is a previously published TheShepherdsPen]
And, pretty much, just like that, seemingly “overnight” our world has changed. Concerts, sporting events, and assemblies are being curtailed in an effort to promote “social distancing” – minimizing gatherings and contact with others in an effort to curb the transmission of the Coronavirus. Flights are being canceled, theme parks are shut down, university campuses are moving to online formats, and countries are closing their gates to travel. People are walking around with blue masks, … and toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and water are in short supply. Door knobs and buttons, keyboards and touchscreens, even hands themselves are being viewed as potential threats to life itself. Wow! What is happening?
Some would argue the world has gone crazy. Some would say we are logically trying to protect humanity from the consequences of a dreadful malady. And, still, others would say there may be a little bit of hysterical over-reaction to the events. In any case… perception does become reality.
This present affliction does not seem to bear the gravity of the Plague of the Middle Ages, or even the severity of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. Though life as we know it is being altered before our eyes.
The monster, the uninvited, the unwanted guest who in moving silently, swiftly, and indiscriminately has so shaken the underpinnings of our security, our peace, and dare I say, our faith.
We have no idea what the future holds. We do not know if certain strides of progress are just around the corner, or if the darkness of a new normal is upon us for a while. Yet, the tone of the day is certainly not hope and serenity. To a world that knows not the Creator, words like, uncertainty, panic, grief, and anxiety define the tone of the day. We know not what the future holds, but we as the people of God do know who holds the future.
Three simple verses from Matthew 5 come to my mind to remind us, as the people of God, of our purpose:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
The picture presented is of a distant community resting elevated on a hill. In the midst of surrounding darkness, a light proceeds from that society. Our hope, our peace, our certainty, our light is faith in the One who still rules from His throne. He has called men to Himself through the gift of Christ. Our privilege is to allow that beacon to pierce the darkness with hope. Let ’em see it Church!
Until glory, until the return of Christ, our world will be stricken with the consequences of sin. Still, the light shines bright in the darkness. And, if ever the world needs us to demonstrate our faith it is now; what we have the world needs. The scared world needs the light of the sacred Church.
Our time is now Church!
[The preceding post is one of several under the heading of “A New Normal” addressing our response to the Coronavirus outbreak. They are written to the family at Bishop Creek Community Church. I was asked to make them available as an encouragement to all.]