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What Should We Learn From the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Updated: Jul 29, 2020



This past Sunday, May 10th, marks 8 weeks since we last gathered as a church to worship. 8 weeks! Who would have ever imagined that a virus would cause such a disruption in our everyday lives? While none of us would have ever asked for this and most of us are ready for it to be over, I do believe there are some good and necessary lessons for God’s people to learn in the midst of this disruption. Lessons that will lead us to a deeper knowledge of Him, a deeper experience of His grace in our lives, and more confidence in our Sovereign and faithful God.


1. Life Is Uncertain

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”” James 4:13-15


We have grown so accustomed to doing whatever we want when we want and now we are extremely restricted in our activities. A virus that we cannot see and have no vaccine for (yet) has totally disrupted our plans. Plans made, in some instances, years in advance had to be scrapped. High School seniors after years of hard work probably won’t have that well deserved recognition and moment on the stage. These things can be really frustrating and we understand that. But as God’s people we know that all our times are in God’s hands. All of our plans are subject to unexpected change. Nothing in this world is certain but all of God’s plans will be fulfilled and one day we will inherit a land where there will be no disease to ever again interrupt our lives.


2. People Really Fear Death

Look at how quickly and easily everything was shut down. What could cause corporations to give up millions in income? What could cause parents to stay away from their children for weeks at a time? Only the threat of death could cause this much fear. Images of ICU units in Italy full of intubated patients sent shock waves through the country. People who were initially skeptical were all of a sudden paying close attention to every new development in this story. People really are afraid of death. Most people live everyday with the thought of death very far away from their minds. Occupied with daily living death seems a remote possibility, except for those “old folks”. But when you are daily bombarded with more images and numbers relating to death you can't really keep that thought at bay. What a time for the church to be a living witness to the resurrected Christ. We by God’s grace have a hope stronger than death. Most of our neighbors don’t. This ought to cause us to thank God that He rescued us and pray for our neighbors to come to know God’s grace in Jesus Christ.


3. How Precious is the Time We Have

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90:12 ESV https://www.bible.com/bible/59/psa.90.12.esv


None of us know how many days the Lord will give us here. While we daily focus on Covid-19 deaths, thousands die from other diseases and accidents. God has allotted each of us a certain number of days. If we aren’t very careful we will waste those days with trivial pursuits. If we aren’t wise we will fritter them away with endless entertainment and constant distraction. One of the best things to come out of this is the increased time we have with those closest to us. Sometimes in the busyness of life we take for granted or simply overlook those who live in the same house we do. Years from now I believe we will look back with gratitude at this period of our lives. So families enjoy this gift of time with each other. As a church we need to be very active in building each other's faith and reaching out to the lost. Take advantage of this extra time to read through the gospels or another book of the Bible you aren’t very familiar with. Pick up a Christian classic book and read it. Hopefully we come through this season knowing God more and better than we did before. And then think about those who have walked through this without Christ. We have hope no matter what the crisis may be but many of our neighbors don’t. Who will tell them the good news of the gospel if we don’t?


4. How Important Every Part of the Body (the church) Is

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”

1 Corinthians 12:12, 14-20 ESVhttps://www.bible.com/bible/59/1co.12.12,14-20.esv


When this crisis first started there were so many questions to answer? What do we do about meeting at church? If we don’t meet, how do we have church? Can we do services online? What about our parents with smaller children? How can we help them or provide content for their bible study at home? What are we going to do about giving? How do we stay connected when we can’t meet together? I didn’t have the answer to any of these questions. I had ideas but wasn’t capable really of pulling any of them off by myself. God in His great mercy had already provided in the body all that we would need and more. Mike was able to immediately begin helping record the services and upload them to the Facebook page. Tiffany immediately began researching options online for our smaller children and their parents. Greg finished a website (obctn.com) that we had discussed months ago. Jennifer and Stacy organized a list of our seniors to call and check on weekly. We had other members deliver food, take off trash, and deliver meals for shut-ins and students. Sharon created some ways for people to give online. Members have faithfully continued mailing in offerings or giving online. Individual members have done daily devotions for almost 50 days now. I could go on and on declaring all that God has done through the members of this church. All using their God given gifts to bless and encourage during this difficult season. We’ve seen the slogan, “we’re all in this together!,” in many different places over the last few weeks. We have proven at Oakland that we are truly in this together for God’s glory alone. May His name be forever praised because of your love and willing service.


5. God is Faithful

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV https://www.bible.com/bible/59/lam.3.22-23.esv


Finally, God is faithful. Life changes in the blink of an eye. Tragedy strikes in the middle of the night. Our plans are devastated by an unseen virus and we don’t know when things will “get back to normal”. What will the new normal be? We don’t know but we do know that our God is steadfast in his character and His love for us. Not for one second will God forget us or the promises He has made to us. Never will His faithful love not be our constant companion in this constantly changing world. We have this promise, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28 Church, we can rest in the faithful care of the great shepherd. Not only can we rest in His faithful care but we can go out boldly sharing this message of hope in a dark and very anxious age. God has been with us and He will be with us so we need not fear.


Looking so forward to the day we are all back together. Until then I commend you to the grace of God and His loving care.


God Bless!

Stacey

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