We’ve never been through anything like this before. This pandemic is testing our faith, our stamina, our patience, our confidence, our endurance, and what I’m especially thinking about this morning — our love. There appear to be no guarantees. You never know who and when it will hit, and should it hit close to home, there’s no real way of knowing where it came from. It’s an invisible enemy and we feel helpless against it. We are all feeling our mortality as never before.
That’s why Peter’s advice in 1 Peter 4:7-10 is so relevant to us today when he writes that the end of all things is near, therefore, we should be alert so we can pray, love each other deeply, be hospitable and serve one another with the gifts we have received. The first thing you notice about this list is that these are all pretty normal things we should be doing all the time anyway. There’s no sense of panic here. The end, however it comes, should find us busy serving the Lord as we always do and praying all the time and loving each other.
If this coronavirus scare has a silver lining anywhere, it should be in reminding us to love each other deeply and taking the opportunity to do that. This is when we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Tell those you love how much you love them and give lots of hugs (or virtual hugs if they don’t live in your household) whenever you can. You don’t want to be wishing you’d done that when you could. Do it now.
And look for how you can serve others. This is harder to do when we’re practice social distancing and staying home as much as possible. It just means we have to get creative. Some of our Catch family are making masks at home, others are running errands for elderly in the neighborhood who can’t get out of the house. We can all make phone calls, send texts, do FaceTime and Zoom meetings. If ever we are learning the value of online relationships it is now. We have an online church and an online Bible study going here at the Catch and they are doing great. Church last night reached 879 people with 280 engaging with the event in some way as in liking it or making a comment. And our Wednesday night Bible study on Zoom is growing every week. Make a note to join us this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. PDT.
Whatever you do, don’t wait to do it — don’t put it off for some other time. That time may not come. Do it now.