The Christian church has lived through 2000 years of wars, illnesses, famines, and persecutions. There is absolutely nothing about the current state of affairs generated by the coronavirus pandemic which alters the truth that God is sovereign and that his church is called to serve him in the world. First Presbyterian Church will continue to join with the church across the world and throughout history by practicing public worship unless prevented from doing so through extreme circumstances. That said, there are some things which I would recommend as your pastor until the current “crisis” passes:
- Exercise reasonable caution when in public worship. Public covenant worship is fundamental to the life of the church. So we will meet together. But be wise in doing so. Limit physical contact. Wash your hands. Wear gloves when preparing foods. These are all reasonable and wise activities.
- Prepare yourself in appropriate ways. Don’t think that trust in God is set against reasonable personal preparation. Stock up on a few extra essentials. Get lots of rest. Limit unnecessary social activities. Tackle a few more of those at-home projects on your list.
- Engage in the works of prayer and fasting. The church has historically responded to times of war or illness through seasons of prayer and fasting. I recommend that you take at least one day every week during the pandemic to seek the Lord through special fasting and prayer. Pray that the Lord’s purposes would be accomplished through this time.
- Love your neighbors. Look for opportunities to minister to others through verbal and mercy ministry. There may be opportunities to deliver care packages or share the gospel. Christians throughout history have shined the light of Christ to the watching world during plagues and famines.
In other seasons of our national life, our local, state, and federal governments may have called us to prayer and fasting. But Christians have never needed the authorization of the powers-that-be in order to function as God’s people. Nor do we need this authorization now. Our authority is in Christ, the one to whom all authority has been given. Soli Deo Gloria.