May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3 (CEB)
We are less than two weeks into this new normal of “social distancing” and already some of us have had enough. This is hard for all of us. No matter how old or young, we face different but understandable burdens, be they primarily social, economic, physiological, emotional… the list goes on, and these burdens often intersect.
As Christians we place our hope in Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we celebrate each year at Easter and, truthfully, every Sunday. He is our living hope. As we wait and hope, we seek to bring healing and wholeness to this whole world. Good? Still all together?
This is where it gets harder. Here, less than two weeks in to this necessary time of social and physical distancing, some of our leaders are already declaring victory or, worse, admitting defeat. Some are saying it’s better to get back to “normal” now and suffer the consequences. Others are touting unproven, untested medicines as 100% miracle cures to solve this problem for us.
Friends, we have a Hope. His name is Jesus. He instructs us to be “shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves” (Matt 10:6) in this world of false-hope peddlers and snake-oil salespeople. We pray for those who develop medicines and vaccines. We mourn with those who are afraid or have lost people. We hope for the days when we can put the last period at the end of the COVID-19 story.
What can we do today, though? How do we know who to trust? Here is what we know: America is quickly becoming the center of this crisis. New Jersey currently ranks second for confirmed cases of the virus, with our neighbor New York in the lead. This is here and it will be here for some time. We are able to place our hope in Christ and believe all things are possible through him. We are also capable of understanding that there is almost zero possibility we nor any other church can responsibly meet in person on Easter Sunday. It may be weeks beyond that time, too. This is where we are, and it’s not where we’d like to be.
If I haven’t made this clear: I strongly dislike this. I want to shake hands, pray, share jokes, eat cakes and other tasty things at hospitality house, just to be together and to be close again. It is simply not that time yet, however. The day is coming! Hold onto hope, and share that hope with others. But we can’t fall for believing in or spreading false hope. There is currently no cure. This is not almost over.
Ways to Fill the Days
Suggested Book: The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom
Classic Hymn: Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior, by Fanny Crosby / performed by Red Mountain Church
Something Newer: Living Hope, by Phil Wickham
Grace and Peace,