Rev. Steven Shepard | Contributor
After a long week of misinformation coming from the Oval Office and scientific information coming from medical doctors, scientists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO); the number of those infected and those dying from the coronavirus on the rise daily, if not on a hourly basis, one can’t help but wonder what is or should be the church’s response in times like this.
First, let me define what I mean by—church. The church I speak of is not brick and mortar, but flesh and blood. The church is those whom count ourselves amongst the committed community of Christ, faithful men and women. The question becomes, “What is our, or what should the church’s response be to the COVID-19 pandemic?”
The church’s response should be one of “Love.”- The Bible declares in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
It’s out of love for our members that we ought to ask them to follow the guidelines of the CDC, WHO, and their local health department. Without counsel, plans fail; but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22).
It’s out of love that we close our doors to those who fill our sanctuaries on a weekly basis and keep our livestream worship crew to under 10 persons and maintain our social distancing rules as directed by our governmental leadership. (Roman 13:1-6).
It’s out of love that we don’t put people in unnecessary danger because we want to have the best and brightest livestream service during this pandemic to gain more members, or to fill the church coffers. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
It’s out of love that we check on our members on a day to day basis and help to meet their needs without placing them or ourselves in danger. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matthew 22:39).
It’s out of love the pastor must stay up to date with the health crisis and keep the members informed. It’s out of love that while we walk by faith we don’t do so foolishly. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:5)
It’s is out of love that we stop questioning what the church’s response should be and start being the church that responds through action. That actionable response should be Love. . .