Last week we looked at some things others have suggested we learn from this pandemic (see last’s weeks bulletin). What are other things we can learn?
We have learned the essential quality of patience. Patience is something we all need to have – patience with others, with ourselves, with God. James 1:4-8 talks a lot about the quality of patience and how it should work in our lives. The fact is that we know we need more patience, but we do not like the way we have to learn it. We should pray for patience.
It has created a greater appreciation for how quickly things can change and how abruptly things can be taken away. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 emphasizes that there is a time for everything under heaven, and we all know how quickly things change. In January of this year we were not even thinking about a pandemic; now we are in the midst of one and trying to figure out how to deal with it everyday. Lesson: know that change will come, and keep your focus on God, who is the stability we need.
An awareness of life’s uncertainty. In the back of our minds we all know that we will pass from this life. I know that I do not get up thinking that today could be my last day – however, it could. James 4:13-17 reminds us that we are as a vapor, that appears for a time and then vanishes away.
This has caused some in the religious world and even in our brotherhood to focus on the essentials and leave off some distractions. What is essential? Building a life and relationship with Jesus Christ by spending time with him in prayer and in his word daily. It is preparing for eternity. I know that I have been distracted with things such as taking care of our house and the building where Christians worship. Christianity is not something we do in a church building, but what we live every day of our lives. Essentials are teaching others the gospel, and encouraging one another in love! Are we doing a better job now encouraging one another and meeting the needs of one another?
Finally, this pandemic has forced the church to do some things different. In Acts 8, when a severe persecution arose against the church, they went everywhere preaching the word. It was God’s way of getting them out of Jerusalem and into the whole world as set out in Acts 1:8. Beloved, we need to look at what we have done in the past, and always think about how we can do it better – WITHIN THE LIMITS OF SCRIPTURE. Obviously we cannot do what Scripture forbids – but in ways that are left to us, we must avail ourselves of all opportunities to shine the light of Jesus in the world.
What have you learned from the pandemic? How has it made a difference in your life with Christ and the church? Tommy