It isn’t lost on me that all the things that broke up my week and which I depended on for a sense of comfort and sanity are now gone. Playgroups, Bible studies, even church services- gone. God knows my heart, and He is calling me to find that comfort and sanity in Him alone.
I think that losing my sense of community has been the most difficult to stomach. I had spent the better part of 3 years praying for community of solid Christian women that I could be friends with and form relationships with. And praise God, He answered that prayer! But now, just as suddenly, we find ourselves scattered, separated, and unable to gather together in worship or fellowship (although, the temptation is strong for me to say, just come over! I miss my people)
While texts and such are nice, they’re no substitute for people and face to face conversation. I think that’s a lesson much of our culture has become hardened to. Can’t go to church? No big deal- we’ll live stream it. No big loss.
Except that it IS a big loss. To not be able to physically gather as the body and bride of Christ is a HUGE deal. We’re basically scattered detached limbs! For some, it hasn’t been a big deal because they haven’t attended church regularly for some time. For others, it’s not a big deal because, well now they have 2 hours on Sunday free to pursue other things. Still for others, church attendance had become compulsory, obligatory and emotionally disconnected from other people there anyway, so being released from such a socially strenuous commitment is a welcome respite.
To be honest, I fall into a few of those categories myself- if not now, then at some point in the past. What is disturbing though is how quick the Church was to forsake gathering together. Please don’t misunderstand me- I fully understand the health risk to those who are in the demographics heavily affected by this sickness. I know several and I have immune compromised kids who’d have a hard time fighting a severe respiratory illness when they’re already wheezy and allergy-ridden. And my kids are relatively healthy! It is our responsibility as Christians to look out for the wellbeing of the weak among us and to consider them as better than ourselves. I understand the commitment to prudence, wisdom, and honorable conduct.
But I also see the temptation to forsake gathering for the sake not only of public health, but convenience. I’m sure the analogy has been made before, but for the life of me I can’t remember by whom– it’s like the island of the Lotus eaters from the Odyssey; the longer they remained on the island, the easier it was to stay and the less urgent their mission became until they had completely forgotten about fulfilling it.
Given my disdain for, and inability to moderately use social media, I’m largely in the dark on social panic, but have been staying “informed” through reading the news. And I see a series of events being set up to take place in the not so distant future.
I’ll just take this opportunity to point out some of the things I’m noticing:
1) Biblical New Year begins on Wednesday at sundown. Many of the shelter in place orders continue through April 7th- which is not only my husband’s and my 10th wedding anniversary, but also Passover and the 1st day of the feast of unleavened bread. Isn’t it interesting that the lifting of these orders coincides with the remembrance festival of the deliverance of God’s people from the slavery of Egypt. Or, that “food security” may be questionable at this time of quarrantine and low grocery store supply? Isn’t it interesting that the Bread of Life calls for us to remove the yeast of sin from our homes and to focus on Him?
2)Internet Rules as we are limited in person to person contact, everyone is turning to the internet for purchasing, “social interaction,” worship live streams, bill pay, banking, education… To the point that some retailers and businesses are even declining to accept cash in person because it’s “dirty”. We are all still connected by the internet, right? Isn’t it interesting that the way has been paved for a global, digital, blockchain currency which many people can access via digital wallet or certain social media platform could surface at this time of financial uncertainty? Isn’t it further interesting that the Federal Reserve has just recently flooded the market with more cash, much like in 2008, which led to financial crash and recession?
3) Purification Ritual which is laid out in the book of Numbers requiring a 2 year old red heiffer to be offered as a burnt offering to make purification for Israel prior to the reconstruction of the temple can only occur if there is born a spotless red heiffer. Isn’t it interesting that the 2red heiffers born in Israel will be turning 2 years old this year? Isn’t it interesting that they (or at least 1) will be old enough for offering by the Day of Atonement?
4) Birthpains is the term in Scripture used to describe world events leading up to the end of the age. With each new “event” much as a woman’s contractions in labor contractions in labor become closer together and more intense- As mother to 4 children, I can attest to this. Isn’t it interesting that in the last few weeks, we’ve seen earthquakes in Salt Lake City, and Croatia, locusts in Africa, and this covid-19 worldwide sickness… Things are certainly getting interesting.
I foresee an institution of global digital currency as our US dollar tanks in value. I foresee the nations crying out for a global leader who will claim to have the wisdom and power to lead the nations toward unity and peace as we continue to face intensifying hardships and crisis on a world-wide scale. I foresee a great falling away of the Church. And none of this is far fetched- it is contained in Scripture.
Where does that leave us? Well, honestly it’s a pretty spectacular time to be alive. And there are so many layers to this, I’m going to have to split it into multiple posts… But I think right now is the perfect time, while free from distraction to lean in to the Father, to preach the gospel, to pray for the lost, and to encourage each other as believers in Jesus Christ that the King is Coming, and we very well may be the generation that gets to see Him coming on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory! So long as there is breath in your lungs, there is still time to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, repent of your sins, and eagerly wait for His return; to be called sons and daughters of the Most High.
Wow. Make your Bride ready, and come quickly, Lord Jesus!