Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Warm greetings in the matchless name of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus.
Indeed it is very anxious times for all of us. The fear of this very contagious virus COVID19
has crippled our senses, the lockdown has restricted our movement within the confines of our homes, our ministry suspended or restricted, and for many daily sustenance has become a grave concern.
Indeed our world has changed forever and we look forward with much anticipation to what new challenges as well as opportunities the post COVID19 world will bring.
But as children of the Creator God we are a people “not without hope” or without an answer to the present crisis.
The first step, I hope, we have all taken is to look at the positive outcome of this lockdown.Firstly, this has given us all an opportunity to REST from our busy schedules allowing us to recuperate and spend time with family. For many of us “ministry” has come first in our list of priorities and this has a taken a toll on our health and, perhaps, neglected our family. And it may be that in our busy-ness for God’s work we have neglected our personal relationship with God himself too. So let us thank God for the opportunity he has “enforced” on us to rest. And rest we should and enjoy time with family and communion with God.
Secondly, it is also a time to review, renew and if necessary re-calibrate our ministry priorities. Sometime ago while in conversation with one of the top Indian leaders he confided that many a time he do not get time to prepare his sermons, an admission to which I concurred and I believe many of you will too. We have been just too busy trying to hold the fort, and most of us have been functioning like the firefighter simply trying to douse one crisis after another or deal with issues after issues that crop up in our ministries. This has left us with no time or exhausted to take time to evaluate our ministries and re-strategize them. As such, let us look positively and take this enforced “stay at home” as an opportunity to reflect, review and prepare for the ‘battle’ ahead, post Covid19. Of course, we must never for one moment minimize the magnitude of the present crisis. When medical professionals cannot even protect themselves, world leaders fall prey and loved ones demised without even a proper farewell or funeral; this is indeed an unprecedented crisis. Moreover, perhaps this will be the first time ever in our Christian calendar when we will not be able to celebrate Easter corporately as a body of Christ. For even during the high of persecution believers have met together to worship but this Easter most of us will voluntarily stay at home. (But thanks to online technology most of will still be able to reach out to our members.)
In such a situation most of us are apprehensive and some of us have translated that fear by interpreting the current situation as one of the signs of end times. I have no comments on it, but my point is that, however bleak the situation may seem today let us not despair or be anxious as those without hope:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the
Almighty. … You will not fear … the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”Ps 91
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Ps 23
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;” Is 43
Praise God, he is keeping us in the palm of his hand with assurance of his presence and protection.
As we celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Christ Jesus this historic Easter let us be ministered by the hope we have in and through the Living Saviour and be harbingers of this hope in this gloomy world that is today.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the
power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Rom. 15:13
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we
ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be
glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”Eph. 3:20-21