Jesus Touched Lepers: Keeping Ministry on Track in the Midst of Fear

I don’t want to be just one more voice speaking her mind about current events, so I wasn’t going to write a post about Covid-19. Well, that still isn’t the subject of this post. Rather, I hope to point you and our congregations to the wisdom of God’s word in the midst of a fearful world.

The truth is, Jesus touched lepers! (Thank you to our sister Hilary for pointing that out.) In John 14:12, Jesus says to his disciples, and to us, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (NIV) Therefore, we, disciples of Jesus Christ, are to be vessels of God’s healing in this broken world!

That means we must not follow the ways of the world (See Romans 12). Remember that the enemy thrives on chaos and fear. When we are focused on such thoughts, we fail to follow the voice of our heavenly Father and instead open our minds and hearts to the enemy.

I was asked this week if our regularly scheduled worship services would be canceled due to the virus and having primarily older congregants. My response was this: If we are quarantined all week, then sure. But, if we are willing to go out in the world, we ought to also be able to gather in God’s house.

Satan would love nothing more than for our churches to be closed while stores and offices remain open. It is necessary that each follower of Christ listen for His direction in where to be on Sunday morning. If you believe He is asking you to stay home for your wellbeing or that of others, then your pastor and congregation will understand. However, let us not make these decisions in fear, but in the Spirit and in truth!

Paul writes, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV) I urge you to prayerfully consider your response to this and every season so that the power of Christ which is in you may be allowed to bring healing to your community and the world.

I will be at both of my churches Sunday morning with clean hands and an open heart. I will shake hands and hug those who desire to do so (and wash my hands after), but will respectfully participate in social distancing for those who do not. For the sake of lost souls, I will go where the Lord sends me no matter the perceive risks, because I serve a risen savior!

No, I personally do not fall in a high risk category, but some in my household do. They too are not quarantined or fleeing our home which includes three school aged children. We have already passed around our home a stomach bug and some other virus this winter (staying home when we are ill), and the one who is most at risk has been the least affected! Thanks be to God!

Dear friends, never make your decisions out of fear, but through prayer, scripture, and with a sound mind; remembering the power and love of God for you and in you for God’s purposes in the world.

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