Sermon for the Watford church of Christ
A Christian Response
We are called to:
1.Prayer in place of anxiety (James 5:13-15; Philippians 4:6).
- No panic / conspiracy theory
- Opportunity to grow in prayer
- “Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” (Psalm 112:6–7)
- Wash your heart and mind with God’s word as you wash your hands
2. Empathy and compassion for those suffering (Matthew 9:36; Mark 5:34).
- No judgment
- Don’t put others at risk
3. Action to comfort where we can (2 Corinthians 1:4; Matthew 14:14).
- Make the most of extra time if you have it
- To comfort others and read/pray
- No hoarding, but generous
- “And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”” (Luke 12:16–21 NIV11)
4. Making the most of every opportunity – sharing about the comfort Jesus can bring for those who don’t yet know him (Acts 16:22-36).
- Sin is the greater virus
- Salvation is the greater healing
- Look for the Holy Spirit to open doors for conversation
- Offer to pray for people
What we don’t know about the virus is not as important as what we do know about Jesus.
We know that the ultimate victory is his:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We also know that nothing in this world can separate us from the love of Christ:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35 NIV)
It is sobering to see what is going on around the world as a reaction to the virus.
Not only the deaths, illnesses and physical pain, but also the emotional anxiety and even panic.
Let’s do our best to be people who are alert to the realities of the consequences of the virus, and connected with people in their pain.
Yet, also, to be those people who have a genuine hope and do not live in fear.
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)
God bless, Malcolm
PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John