In an effort to save those valuable, vulnerable souls who are at risk and to preserve our healthcare system, we’ve initiated a shutdown of many key industries and most of the country has been ordered to stay safe at home. In other words stay home in order to maintain social distancing which is defined as at least 6 feet separation between individuals. These orders, in most of the United States, include church services and other activities. Many, in fact, most churches are closed for Bible Studies, Worship Services, fellowship, and other activities. The consequences of these orders and shutdowns are unknown and sometimes frightening.
This is the Church's time to be that salt, light and city Jesus talked about.
Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT2)13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Here are 5 amazing things the Church can offer the world:
5 Amazing Reasons COVID-19 Is the Church’s Unprecedented Time to Shine
by Catherine Segars
1. The Church Can Offer the World a Very Big God
People are crying out for someone to take control of this crisis. The healthcare industry, Government officials, first responders, store clerks, and other essential employees are working around the clock to mitigate the effects of this devastating illness, and they certainly deserve our gratitude and respect.
But let’s be honest, they are doing damage control. They aren’t in control.
We need a BIG GOD, and right now, everyone knows it. We need a God who is in control, and we need a God who cares.
As believers in Christ, we have that God. We are the only ones who do.
- The same God who delivered the Israelites from Egypt and parted the Red Sea...
- The same God who made the sun stand still so His children could win the battle...
- The same God who slew a giant through a shepherd boy...
- The same God who saved a nation through an orphan girl...
- The same God who eviscerated the prophets of Baal...
- The same God who measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and held the dust of the earth in a basket...
- The same God who healed the lepers and the blind and the woman who bled...
- The same God who raised Christ Jesus from the dead...
- This is the God who can save us from this crisis.
- This is the God we have to offer the world.
People need Him now, and they know it. They need a God who can do what man cannot.
Oh, what an opportunity!
The church has the best opportunity we’ve had in decades to offer our God to the world.
The second you feel drawn to fear, get on your knees and ask God to help you reach those in fear, those who are hurting, those who don’t know where to turn—because we do know where to turn.
Psalm 24:7 (NLT2)7 Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.
People are looking left and right for answers in this crisis. Point their eyes upward so that the King of glory may come. Rest assured in your God and boast of Him to those around you. He is big enough to meet their needs, and yours.
2. The Church Can Offer the World a Firm Foundation
The sand that so many lives are built on has crumbled under their feet. What was certain for decades, for a lifetime, is no longer certain. Health and livelihood are not a solid foundation for life.
They never were. Only now, everyone knows it. Everyone feels it in their bones.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT2)24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.26 But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
COVID-19 has made us all aware that our man-made structures are woefully inadequate to provide lasting peace and security. We are powerless in the face of an invisible illness, and we are powerless to save our economy.
A crisis like the coronavirus makes every person keenly aware of our helpless state.
As believers in Christ, we have a foundation that this world cannot shake . It is not dependent on our economy, our government, our health, or even our lives. Yes, Jesus told us that the rain will fall and the oods will come. The wind will blow and beat on our houses. But the house built on the Rock will stand.
The firm foundation that God offers us is not made of human hands, so human hands cannot destroy it. Nor can a pandemic. As the old hymn says,“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.”
We, the church, have the only answer that will satisfy in this crisis. We have the only firm foundation, not only for this life but for the life to come. We have the gift of a solid Rock to offer the world right now.
What a gift that is in a crisis!
During the social distancing phase of this crisis, community is hard—but not impossible. Churches have used today’s technology to come together to study, worship, and fellowship. We can share those services and gathering opportunities with others now in the hopes that when the bans on gatherings are lifted, they will join us. And they will meet God.
When the church gathers again, our efforts to reach those affected by this crisis can be hands-on. We can embrace them, love them, and lead them to Christ.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT2)12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Alone, we are weak. Together, we will not break. Pray for the hurting to come so we can support them in community, so we can offer them hope and life.
4. The Church Can Offer the World a Sense of Purpose
Scripture teaches us that God doesn’t cause our hardships, but He does allow them. More importantly, He uses them.
Romans 8:28 (NLT2)28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
God takes every difficult circumstance we go through and uses it for our good—if we love Him and are called according to His purpose.
The “if” in that verse is not intended to be punitive or exclusive. God loves everyone, but if our hearts are set against Him, if we are harming ourselves and others through sinful choices, God will not cause good to come from it. He wouldn’t be a loving Father if He did. God allows the pain of this life to drive us to Him so that He can heal us.
God will bring purpose out of our pain if we let Him, if we seek Him, if we choose to love Him and be called according His purpose.
The church offers the world a purpose for this pain. We offer the world a promise that our God will do something good with this su ering if we let Him.
But God also has a purpose for our days. He created each and every human being with a unique purpose in mind. As the lost come seeking a reason for the death around us, we can offer them a reason for life, a reason to live in Christ.
Romans 8:18 (NLT2)18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
5. The Church Can Offer the World an Eternal Perspective
Our faith tells us that this life is like a vapor. COVID-19 has helped people to see the thin veil between this life and the next.
James 4:14 (NLT2)
14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
The brevity of life is a sobering thought, and a necessary one. However long we live on this earth, our time will come to an end. People are thinking about that right now. The church can point people to a God who offers security not only for this life, but for the life to come.
1 John 5:13 (NLT2)13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.
How comforting it is to know that whatever this life brings, our eternal destination is secure. Now is the time to offer our God who gives eternal life, because now people know that they need Him.
The Church Needs God’s Perspective
God wants the church to rise up and seize this opportunity! He wants us to reach this harvest that is suddenly open to truths they didn’t know they needed. Millions of people around the world need a Truth that only we can supply. Millions of people need a church that truly believes what we claim to believe.
THAT Truth—has never been more necessary!