Fear is multiplying and hand sanitizer is disappearing from the shelves. Clearly we are living in a very unprecedented time–a time that we will (as my pastor mentioned during this morning’s first ever “live stream only” service) share about with our grandchildren someday.

As I’ve been meditating on the unique challenges that coronavirus has presented in my life and in the life of our nation, I’ve been impressed with a few key takeaways–three things I think we, as the Church of God, would be wise to learn from this season:

1. There is great value in gathering together

Barring this week, when was the last time you marveled at the beautiful community of the Church? The fact is that God created us to live alongside each other, to walk through life as fellow Christians who bear one another’s burdens. Belonging to a local church is one of the key ways we do that. Through the context of our church, we are able to learn and grow. We are able to support others & find support in others. Plus, we get to see different facets of God’s character as revealed in others.

But in western culture, we are quick to forget the blessing that gathering together truly is.

This viral pandemic is reminding me of that privilege. On a normal Sunday, I get to gather with a diverse and gifted group of Christians to worship the Lord together–a vivid snippet of what Heaven will be like someday.

I love that. I miss that. And I pray that I never take it for granted as I have.

2. We are a broken people living in a broken world

Want to see how sinful we humans are? Throw all our schedules and routines to the wind. Seriously. Disrupting people’s schedules is like a royal summoning for our ugliest behavior.

If you’ve been in a local grocery store lately, I trust you know what I’m talking about. All of a sudden, we are push and impatient, angry and demanding and downright rude when things don’t go our way.

We need to remember that virus or no virus, we are desperately in need of a Savior.

Why? Because we love our schedules, which cater to us. We love our social time, our “me time,” and our free time. We love ourselves. So when we’re all forced to work remotely, care for our kids 24/7, barter for hand sanitizer, and cancel our vacations: we turn into a nasty bunch.

What a difficult, yet wonderful, reality that is. Beneath our fancy facades and filtered Instagram pics, we are messy and broken people. We are people who desperately need Jesus. Anything that reminds us of that need is good. It reels in our pride and creates an opportunity to share the hope of the gospel with others.

We need to remember that virus or no virus, we are desperately in need of a Savior.

3. Broken as we are, each member of the body in the local church is crucial

When the church building is forced to close, the church body is forced to decide: how will we respond? See, there’s a temptation to both physically and spiritually vacate, to take a hiatus for as long as this nasty illness is around. But there’s also a great opportunity. Instead of checking out, we press in by caring for one another one-on-one. We can go deeper in prayer, pursue community, and “watch” Sunday service on a live stream even when no one will know if we go out for brunch instead.

Friends, we need to be committed to a local church, and that committment is always important. But there’s nothing like the shuttering of the building doors that clarifies that importance. Think about it: Even if you attend a small church, your pastor simply can’t check up on each individual member in a deep way without the Sunday morning touchpoint. The individual members of the body are crucial.

I’m seeing this play out at my own church in a beautiful way. Staff members and church members alike are video chatting each other to check in. They’re dropping off groceries, writing letters, and praying fervently. They’re watching each other’s kids, sharing worship songs, and coming up with creative ways to spread encouragement without spreading germs.

If you are a Christian, you need to know this truth: The unique God-given gifts and passions you possess are vital to the spiritual health of others in your sphere of influence. What that means is that when your brother or sister in Christ is praying for support, you might be just the support God has in mind. Your involvement and obedience to God’s will are important for the church at large.

If the coronavirus is teaching us anything, it’s that living in community should mean all hands-on-deck. Always.

Hard is hard, but hard is not bad. I see the great opportunity in the midst of this great, global crisis. Just as the gospel has gone forth in every momentous historical climax, so it will during the season of COVID-19. And just as Christians of old have walked out the beauty of the gospel, so can we. I pray that we would learn and be moved to action in the coming weeks and months. The world is looking for hope and we are ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within (1 Pet. 3:15).

3 thoughts on “3 Things the Church Can Learn from COVID-19

  1. Thanks for sharing Sis! As for me, with King David I say: I was glad when they said to me, let us go unto the house of the Lord! No greater joy than to be in this place, lift my voice to sing praise with my congregation! There’s so much fruit of the Spirit spilling out with the river of life in our midst right now I don’t want to miss the chance to love on and encourage those in church; new people coming in every week! It’s good to be prudent and use wisdom at these times. I’m thankful our church is small enough we could have service yesterday and a few people from other churches were happy to join us when their own services were cancelled. This is our chance to stand on truth and go deeper into the things of God!

    Liked by 1 person

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