FAITH DURING A PANDEMIC
The pandemic will come to an end! We are still in the midst of it and hundreds and thousands in the USA are impacted by the pandemic. In New York, though hospital admissions are leveling off making more hospital beds available, we still experience new cases and more than 700 deaths a day. Around the world, the onslaught of the virus is just beginning to hit countries, especially those countries that are the poorest and with minimal and substandard medical care. The majority of these places have yet to be fully impacted.
I am far from being an expert on infectious diseases. I listen to the news and the experts on the news. I am trying to be obedient and do what they suggest. I want this to end and lives to be saved.
The one report I hope and pray is accurate is that people in the Church are growing in their faith. Families are praying together and studying the Scriptures together. Others are joining small groups via Zoom. There is an increase in the desire to serve and Churches have been involved in helping the elderly, bringing food to the poor, making masks for health care workers,
We will survive this pandemic, and we will survive the economic crisis. The day will come when we will all be back in Church on Sunday. We will once again have baptisms and weddings. Most importantly, we will be able to gather around the Altar and celebrate the Holy Eucharist (the Great Thanksgiving.). But my prayer is that survival is not enough. I pray that we will not be satisfied with survival. I pray this is soil for revival.
Revival begins with the Church. It starts with the Church recognizing that it is dry and in need of water. It is the Church acknowledging that it needs the breath that comes from God. It is the Church recognizing that it is not presently walking in the power of God. It is the Church acknowledging that it has moved away from the mission of God by becoming inward and not outward. Once we come to an honest self-evaluation (and the pandemic has given us the opportunity in our solitude), then we recognize that we need to repent. We need to have a change of mind and turn to the living God. We have to be desperate for God.
We are waiting for the world to come into revival. I pray it does, but it will begin in the Church. The fact is the world will go back to normal, and even now, people around the US are crying out for the country to “open.” The Church cannot go back to normal. The Church must continue in intense prayer. The Church must continue studying and applying Biblical principles to everyday life. The Church must continue to find Him in the sacraments and the poor.
We will come out of this pandemic with an increasing desire to worship the Lord Jesus. The CEC is about worship. It believes that liturgy/sacraments, evangelical preaching, and charismatic experience is the way to worship Jesus. And revival will happen as the Holy Spirit pours the love of God into our hearts, and there is nothing left but the love of Jesus and a hunger and thirst to have His image formed in us.
I am praying for you. May God continue to reveal more of Himself to us.
Under His mercy,