“Flatten the curve”
All words and phrases that the vast majority of us had never heard of two weeks ago. When not busy out buying a lifetime supply of toilet paper, it appears that most Calgarians have been fixated on expanding our vocabulary and trying to find answers to: what exactly is a pandemic? What is a coronavirus? Why is my church telling me to stay home to watch church on TV? Am I really supposed to teach my kids Sunday School today? Let’s be honest: up until two weeks ago, 99.967% of us didn’t know that Alberta had a Chief Medical Officer, and now we feel like we could invite her home for Easter dinner!
I remember SARS, H1N1, the Swine Flu and Legionnaires disease. But none of those health concerns came close to rivalling this coronavirus. The million-dollar question for all of us is, “How exactly should we respond?” As a church, we know we might be overreacting with our cancellations and postponements. We will never know if we have. But we would know if we underreacted, and that’s a risk we’ve decided we are unwilling to take.
But back to “how do we respond?” Let’s remember the encouraging truth of Psalm 34 – a page out of David’s journal.
“I sought the Lord and he answered me; and delivered me from all my fears.” Oh may that be the truth for us all in an age where fear seems to be creating really irrational thoughts for us all. (Think toilet paper here!)
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” May our confidence lie not in the quality of our handwashing, but in our dependence upon the One who made our hands and works through our hands.
“Fear the Lord, you his holy people; for those who fear him lack nothing.” He is our provider, our protector, our Master, our King.
A wonderful young woman from our church sent me an email today, volunteering to buy groceries or necessities for any seniors from our church who need help. That’s the kind of response that thrills my heart and reflects the heart of our Saviour (Thanks Emily!) May we all look for opportunities to be the heart and hands of Jesus to those around us in this season of fear and concern.
As one person has said: wash your hands, certainly. But also remember to wash the feet of those God brings across your path.
It’s a great day to be the church.
Lead Pastor and proud to have not tried to buy toilet paper this week (though irrationally grateful my wife did!)