Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Shepastor: “Lessons We Must Learn from this COVID-19 Season…”

1 Chronicles 12:32 New English Translation (NET Bible)
32 From Issachar there were 200 leaders and all their relatives at their command—they understood the times and knew what Israel should do.

“Stay at home…social distancing…wear masks and gloves…” These all are admonitions given by world health authorities and government leaders to try and flatten the pandemic curve and to save lives. These important physiological health instructions are critical for the well-being of all. However, these guidelines do not address the “sickness” that for too long has infected the moral compass of society.

The scripture reference for today highlights an obscure commentary on members from the tribe of Issachar. It suggests that the leaders and their families “understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” One has to wonder, are we as discerning? If we would be like the wise “Issacharian” leaders, we too must learn some lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and by doing so, gain an understanding of what we must do. Let’s consider the following…

We must learn to work together to get through this… A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. As much as possible we must honor the guidelines given for us to stay safe and alive. People of faith should lead the way as examples. Defying common sense health measures will not bring glory to God. On the contrary, it will bring shame upon the people of God if pride and ignorance govern our response to this pandemic.

We must learn to share more than ever… We must do more to help one another... It is becoming blatantly evident that “trickle down economics” will not work. While we wait for reasonable, strategic and “fact-driven” plans to “re-open our country,” we must re-think how our economy works. Our nation must do everything it can to provide assistance to those who, by no fault of their own are without work. We must all do that we can to share what we have with one another.

Cooking extra meals, making monetary donations, paying for someone’s groceries, making masks and gowns, offering free services when able for example. Utility companies should agree to continue to provide water, heat and lights while customers are without an income. Mortgage companies and banks should hold off on evictions for nonpayment of rent/mortgages. America is a wealthy country. It is time to share that wealth to care for the hard-working people who keep this country running and are devastated by current circumstances.

We must learn from our mistakes and re-consider our ways… Hateful rhetoric, divisive attitudes and behaviors, greed, slander, overlooking the needs of the poor, taking advantage of the ill-informed, voter suppression, oppressing and disenfranchising minorities, perpetuating systems designed to keep generational cycles of poverty…all of these sins must be addressed. Idolatry, sexual immorality, irreverent behaviors, pride and arrogance, racism, bigotry, sexism, “otherism”…ALL OF THESE THINGS have positioned us for unnecessary pain, devastation, loss and ultimately, destruction.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

May we SOON learn and live these lessons. May we be wise, discern the signs of the times and by so doing, “know what to do.”

In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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