After being closed for in-person worship since March of 2020, church doors across the country, like many businesses, are wondering how to operate in the longer term. It is a practical, political, and spiritual question, all rolled into one.
Practical because just as there is no denying that the Coronavirus is real, I believe how we handle real concerns for the preservation of lives is legitimatized by the millions infected and the hundreds of thousands of lives lost. Patience should be the language fluently spoken in every house of faith. They that wait on the Lord…
Political because (for the most part) the American public was made aware of the Coronavirus by the President of the United States. Not only did the president address the nation, but (though he quickly backed away from it and denied the dangers this proven virus carries) he also suggested a national temporary shutdown with hopes that the virus would be contained with the infected sheltered people. The possibility remains that had we simply followed the plan of the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and sheltered all nonessential personnel in place/home for several weeks, America and the rest of the world our rebellious actions helped to infect, would be in a much healthier state. Political questions both increase and loom because people ignorant of the restrictions that accompany their First Amendment empowers the government/governors to objectively impose limits/restrictions or deny components to residents of his/her state when it’s in the best interests of public safety. Be advised ladies and gentlemen, the right to assemble is NOT ABSOLUTE.
This is a health not a political issue. This is about taking the necessary precautions to preserve lives, prevent the spread of and contribute to the elimination of a deadly virus.
It is incumbent of every human to do their part in helping rid the land of COVID-19. Stop wasting time and resources with frivolously unfounded lawsuits. Let me be clear, there’s no violation of our First, Second or Fourth Amendment rights so practice social distancing, stay home when possible, wear a facial covering especially when its required and worship The
Lord via E Church until further notice. The Government officials were elected by we the people, they are empowered by the law they have sworn to uphold, a people they’ve promised to protect and a country they’ve vowed to lead and serve. We hire and fire them via our electoral process.
I believe I’ve given enough information concerning two of the three topics that equal one question and hope to have at least pointed you in the direction of research and personal discovery of the practical and political truths, now lets take a closer look at the spiritual aspect of the question.
Spiritual because we are made in the image of God and our spirit connects us to Him. Every spirit needs a body in order for it to operate in this world and every body needs a soul to connect it to this world through its senses. Ironic as it may seem, these three, spirit, body and soul were purposed to provide perfect balance in life, but often find themselves in opposition of the three parts that when operating in harmony brings balance. Unfortunately, many of us have stopped listening to the Father, now we feel the effects of the world and are being led by our emotional and often irrational soul. The body has communicated what its seen, heard and now feels to the soul that will try to make sense of all the information and decide as to a plan of action.
The problem with the souls deliberation is that it’s the silenced or unquieted spirit that has the final say. When God is silent it is important that we wait. When you’re not sure of your next move, make certain that you are spending time in worship, prayer and that you are submitted to leadership. Pastor, surround yourself with knowledgeable people of prayer who understand your vision , trust you wholeheartedly and are submitted to your leadership. When you seek the will of the Lord together, the Holy Spirit will speak, lead, and guide you.
Spiritual Leadership is often replaced by emotional navigation that mimics godly wisdom but burns out quickly and is often replaced by something else.
COVID-19 has challenged our faith, spiritual fruit and willingness to wait on the Lord in good courage. Many of us, pastors have silently questioned God, looked for a better way to serve and if we are as honest with ourselves as we expect others to be with us, we just don’t know. Do we pick and choose the most believable report, do we stay on the Ark and minister to more than we have ever reached with the gospel, or do we allow the restlessness of our own hearts and the bleating sheep determine how we lead? Many houses of faith, i.e., church officials are so fixated on the return to what was once normal that they have unintentionally put themselves and congregants in the midst of this deadly pandemic. They refused to wait on the all clear and reopened anyway only to fall prey to the statistic that now identifies churches as a major source of Coronavirus cases. Wait on the Lord and worship and be of good courage, wait I say on the Lord. Stay Safe and remember, you’ve been empowered to prosper because you apply the word.
Pastor Jerome McGee Sr