We live in times where everyone is uncertain about the future. People are uncertain about their finances, relationships, and general safety. COVID-19 has caused mass uncertainty and anxiety across the world on a scale that’s never been seen before.
As the church, we should stand firm in the certainty of the cross, “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught,” Luke 1:4. “But the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you,” 1 Peter 1:25. Though the circumstances are changing weekly, and sometimes daily, we should stand firm in the consistency of God.
During this time, church itself looked different. We did online services for several weeks in the earlier stages of the virus. Just as many churches, we tried our best to preach the gospel and share the Word of God in this season. We have an undeniable mantle to proclaim the gospel, “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation,” Mark 16:15. But in the midst of COVID-19, how will this look different? It may look like service on a laptop screen, or your family gathered to watch in the living room, or maybe on your phone while you lay in bed. As we live in an information-centric culture, this pandemic has led many Christians to look for podcasts, online services, or other faith-based online material. And let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with those things. Paul himself says that God uses ways that may seem foolish to others. “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong,” 1 Corinthians 1:27.
Though we have an abundance of ways to dive into God’s word and stay connected to information, we should not miss the power that comes from gathering before the presence of God. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them,” Matthew 18:20. There is no genuine replacement for meeting in the house of the Lord. In this time, we should lean into the power of our local church. Text your small group members, or set up a social distance Bible study, or if you feel safe enough, come to a weekend gathering. This season has been isolating for many. However, no one should be forced to do life on their own. Lean into the community you’ve created and walk through life with them, share in the burdens of this season, and embrace the new world we face. If you haven’t had a chance to create community, now is a perfect time to talk to new people and try to make connections. “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up,” Ecclesiastes 4:10