Summary: How to live the Christian life when the world seems to be falling apart
Welcome everybody! Today we are beginning a brand-new sermon series that I’m calling COVID and the Christian. I admit it—that is a strange way to name a series of sermons—if it wasn’t the year 2020!
We are 7 months into 2020 and I don’t believe there has been a day go by this year when the word Coronavirus hasn’t come out of my mouth. This pandemic has dominated everything this year and I would be really surprised if there was a single person left on the planet who hasn’t heard about it.
Ok, maybe some long lost tribe out in the rainforest that has been cut off from the outside world… Maybe they haven’t heard of the Coronavirus, but that would be just about it!
My wife got a new shirt recently and I think it pretty much sums up most people's feelings about 2020! Her shirt says, "2020 gets a 1-star review and we certainly could not recommend it!"
If they ever remake the movie Back to the Future, I’m confident that they will most certainly add this new dialog. “Listen to me carefully, Marty. Whatever you do, don’t set it to 2020!”
Isn’t that how many of us are feeling right now? This has been a tough year; no doubt about it. Some days have felt like we’re getting over the hump, and other days have seemed like we’re getting nowhere! I think one of the hardest things for me is all the mixed and confusing messages.
• One doctor (or expert) says one thing, and another doctor (or expert) says the exact opposite…
• One researcher says this, and another says that…
• One leader takes a strong stand, two others call foul…
• One day we’re told this is vital, then next day it’s not…
• Months ago we were told that we had two weeks to flatten the curve. We did it, but now we’re seeing our highest number of cases ever.
• There have been days that have left me wondering if anyone knows anything at all! (and of course we all know people on Social Media who think they’re the expert on the virus, and mask wearing, COVID testing, and anyone who dares disagrees with their expert analysis is a nincompoop and probably voting for the other guy in November.)
Polarized is too soft a word to describe the state of our union currently. Not just when it comes to the Coronavirus, but in all walks of life it seems lately. What is happening in this great country? Lately, I read the news and it seems like the whole country has come unhinged. Riots and protests and calls to defund the police. Politicians whose rhetoric sounds not just unamerican, but anti-American. Civic leaders and local elected officials standing arm-in-arm with the anarchists in their communities… What is going on?
Coronavirus… civil unrest… Oh, I could point you to another dozen hot topics going on in our country right now and everyone’s opinion of them. But what I believe we should be the most concerned about is this: What does God think about all of it? What does the bible have to say about it? And how should we as followers of Jesus Christ conduct ourselves through it?
Today, we’re starting a brand-new series that has been stirring my spirit for several months now about how we as Christians are to navigate through the twisted maze of these strange days! The atmosphere created by the Coronavirus is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. And you could probably say the same thing. The question that overlays this entire series is: As a Christian, how should I be responding to this? When the world goes crazy, how should a Christian respond?
Full disclosure here… But the birth of what would become this series COVID and the Christian was born somewhat out of frustration and concern. I have been frustrated by how some Christians have chosen to respond to the Coronavirus! And NO, I’m not preaching this series out of any kind of anger at all, but I admit, what got me thinking down this path started with some anger! Some anger and frustration over how some Christians were choosing to respond and allowing themselves to behave in the midst of this pandemic.
There have been examples of tremendous perseverance and trust in the Lord and I have been greatly encouraged by those. But I have also seen fear in some Christian's eyes. There have been others who have been doubting God in all of this. The Coronavirus hit and some Christians seem to have forgotten that God was still in control!
I have seen some really great examples of mature faith during this pandemic, but I have also seen plenty of examples of immaturity that I feel have brought shame and embarrassment to the cause of Christ.