Pastor Ryan - January 3, 2022
2022. Two thousand twenty-two years since the birth of our Lord, Jesus the Christ. We gave Jesus the highest honor: we ordered the timing of all humanity around him. We used to call it B.C. and A.D., now we are supposed to call is B.C.E. and C.E.. However you call it, that turning point is Jesus.
But these days my thinking is “two years in.” That is, two years into this plague. This Covid experience is getting old. I long for the good old days when you blow out the candles on a birthday cake and didn’t think about contracting a virus. The coronavirus has caused many problems, especially for those of us who gather as the people of God in Church.
There is no such thing as a Christian problem. We are all going through the same things in life. Jesus alluded to this principle when He said: “for He makes the sun rise on evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matt 5:45b) The problems that we or anyone else encounter are simply that: problems. These two years of plague is perfect proof.
There are no Christian problems; there are Christian solutions. That’s kind of what is means to be a Christian. That when we encounter the events and stuff of life we act differently. We love our enemies, which would seem silly. We give of ourselves, freely caring for others as if they were family, even if we’ve never met them before. This is such an engrained principle that we Christians even take it a step further and will sometimes call each other brother or sister.
So, what’s a Christian response to the plague? I think caring for others is utmost: wear a mask (it helps others more than yourself)and err on the side of caution. If you think you have been exposed, quarantine yourself. You know, the basics. But also reach out. I know we are supposed to be socially distant, and I’m not advocating you go around hugging people. What I am saying is, because of our need to be socially distant we have in advertently distanced ourselves from God and from each other.
Reach out. If you have found yourself tuning into the online services but then tuning out and folding laundry while worship is happening, reach out in the comment section and say hello. If you have been coming to worship and haven’t seen that face or family that you are used to seeing, give them a call or shoot them a text. If you receive a call or a text, recognize how much love that simple act has in it.
This plague is going to change all of us and for the rest of our lives. We get to decide how it plays out. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to meet the challenge in a Christian way. So talk to neighbors and co-workers and encourage them. We are not alone. We are the Body of Christ on earth. We are the Church. Church is not a building. It is us, the people of God, acting in the world.