Summary: This sermon deals with what should be a believer's response to the crisis of the coronavirus. Our hope is to be in the Lord who is our Shepherd.
The Lord Is My Shepherd & The Coronavirus
As we look at the closings of schools, cancellations of sporting events, celebrations being rescheduled and even churches closing, we have to look at “what is at the heart of these unprecedented drastic measures that have been taken?” What is it that we are trying to stop?
What is it that we are afraid might happen? What is it that has so many people worrying? Is there really an unseen enemy out there that we can’t control that is out to get us? Are the leaders of this world humbled by the reality, that no army in the world can stop it, and that stockpiles of nuclear weapons cannot deter it.
Are we ourselves humbled by the reality that we are no where near as independent and confident of the control we have over our lives than we did just two weeks ago. Things that we thought were going to be our greatest moments in championship basketball games, state tournaments, and even March madness basketball tournaments, have gone in an instant like a puff of smoke.
Our vacation plans to Disneyworld, Disneyland, and the theaters have all changed with no input from us. For all the boasting of what we were going to do and how we were going to do it, has now been changed.
One of the things I remember growing up as a kid, was how often the old folks would end their conversation with the words, “Lord willing” or “if the Lord wills.” It was only later that I understood they were quoting a well know writer by the name of the Apostle James.
James wrote a section of the Bible and he recorded in James 4:13-15
13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."
There are things we thought last week that nothing was going to stop us from doing, that all of a sudden we won’t be doing because of an announcement by some government official. Those old folks knew what they were saying when they said, “If it be the Lord’s will.”
As we are faced with a situation that has bloomed into a crisis, everyone of us is confronted with the issue, of “who is our leader at this time?” What do we want our leaders to protect us from? What will happen if they fail? What are we willing to do or become if this thing continues? What freedoms will we give up?
One thing for sure, we must appear to God like sheep scattered on a hill trying figure out which direction to run. Thanks to the spread of information and disinformation on social media some sheep are terrified, and their own fear will kill them.
When you peel back the layers of our anxiety, what is at the heart of it all? What are we really worrying about. We are worrying about the possibility of dying. Fear of our own death, or fear of the death of those that we love is a genuine concern. Yet As believers we have the anti-dote to the fear of death. His name is Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.
Every year here in this area, there is a raffle for a dream home by St Jude charities. You pay $100 for a raffle ticket for a chance to win a fully furnished brand new beautiful home. If they draw your name, the house becomes yours. You can be confident that its ready and waiting for you to move in as soon as you are ready to go through the front door. The moment you’ve won, you let others know I’ve got a new home and I’ll be moving from where I use to live.
Can we really trust what Jesus tells us about death. I think we ought to at least consider his opinion in that we know he died, and we know he rose again from the dead because over 500 eyewitnesses say him at one time.
Jesus died on a cross, and he rose from the dead, because he knew each one of us was going to die because of our wrong doing and the evil in our hearts. He knew that we would be afraid of death, because inside we know that we have done wrong, and that somehow we are going to give an account for what we have done.