Sermons

Summary: Our first service after 10 weeks of coronavirus closures, a message on dealing with fear

Flatten the Fear Curve

CCCAG May 31st, 2020

Riots- George Floyd Death, prayer

Onto our lesson today

Scripture- 1 John 4:13-18

Over the last few weeks, we saw a lot of interesting things.

People in self-made level 1 suits- plastic, garbage bags, sunglasses or lab googles, dishwashing gloves.

I don’t describe this to mock a person, but to show the effect fear can have on people.

You also see it in our discourse with one another-

Want to start a fight on social media and lose friends, give an opinion about wearing a mask in public.

Remember when they announced the shutdowns? How freaked out everyone got?

COVID Fears-

Be honest, did anyone stock up?

Anyone with 100 rolls of toilet paper? Extra nonperishables (if so consider the food pantry next month)? Ammo or guns? Cleaning supplies or sanitizer?

All of the drama, all of the non-sensible reactions, and all of the anger and hatred being spread all have a common source-

Fear.

All of these were fear-based reactions to the unknown.

If we were all honest, we probably all had these reactions to some level or another.

I remember going into a suspected COVID patient’s room for the first time. I have an industrial protective mast, faceshield, a gown, head covering, and two pairs of gloves on. I know once I enter this room, I can’t come back out without going through a decontamination station so I’m stuck.

Here is a pro-tip- Make sure you use the bathroom first!

Everyone has to bring you anything you might need, and you are in it for the duration.

It’s a little bit of a freaky feeling at first.

One of the things that has freaked us out the most is not knowing the full extent of this virus. We hear that it’s killing people or making them very ill. We heard the horror stories from NYC of refrigerated semi-trailers being used for morgues. We fully expected to know dozens of people who would die of this illness.

Now it seems to be on the downslope. Although we are getting a lot of positive test results, those people who are actually sick enough to be hospitalized is dropping rapidly, and even our hospital is relaxing some of the measures we put into place to keep the virus from spreading.

That’s all good news, but the news media keeps warning of a second wave that will be worst than the first.

If you get anything out of todays message- understand this-

No matter what network you watch- they are in the business of keeping your attention by keeping you afraid. The motto of the 24 hr news cycle is “If it bleeds, it leads” The more sensational the better. Anything to keep us glued to the TV, and afraid of everything.

I want to address that today. Many of us have been living in fear for months now, and on this Pentecost Sunday, I want to bring us back to where we should be as believers in Jesus, and I’m going to use the words of one of His best friends here on the earth.

The Apostle John wrote these words to a people who were under intense persecution. When this was written in 90 AD, Being a Christian in many cases was a death sentence. John wrote these words to remind the church of some critically important truths.

1 John 4:13-18

13 We know that we live in him (Jesus) and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Prayer

I. Fear Vs Faith

You have heard me say this in the past- Fear is an acronym

False Evidence Appearing Real

How many false things have we heard about the Coronavirus?

Death rate of 5%. If that were true, and we translated into the population of Whitehall, 80-100 people would die and county wide up to 1500 would die, state-wide almost 300,000, nationwide 16-20 million dead.

What did it turn out to be? Much less. Probably less than ½ of 1%. Government is saying we are over 100,000 deaths, but every single day we read news stories of improper counting and bad information. I think we will probably see that number decrease by about 40-50%, making COVID the same as a NORMAL to bad flu season.

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