The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet another reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus.
The greatest news in the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you have already put your faith in Christ, we urge you to share your faith with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing Him with others, here are some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19): Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend. Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials. Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed. Don’t get angry when events are cancelled or postponed. Remain gracious and charitable toward those making difficult decisions. Don’t panic. God is still God and his word remains true.
Avoid the sin of being uncompassionate. Regardless of how this virus has impacted your life (as of this writing there have been zero cases of infection within Montana), there are people who have lost their lives, there are people who have lost loved-ones, and there are people who are terrified of this virus. Show compassion, sympathy and love toward your neighbors. To the younger folks in this church, remember that this virus has a particular impact on the elderly. Be willing to serve them and certainly pray with/for them in the midst of this pandemic.
What are some steps HBC will take in light of the coronavirus? We will make it a point to sanitize our building. We will have hand sanitizer available during our worship services and soap in the bathrooms for washing. The toys in the nursery are washed/sanitized every week (regardless of coronavirus), to prevent the spread of germs.
Continue to faithfully give financial offerings by mail or online so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days. I am reminded of the way Jesus ministered to those who were sick (Matthew 8). His compassion, love, and mercy, were remarkable. May our church emulate Christ’s ministry as we serve our neighbors and one another.
As Christians, we know the ending. We know the God who created the Earth. We must not be stricken with fear, but have faith in the one who sovereignly reigns over the universe. Pray for the sick, give hope to the hopeless, minister to the shut-ins - all for the glory of Christ. And for Pete’s sake, don’t hoard toilet paper.
- Pastor Joe