Pastor Justin Danielson, Parkview Christian Church
When Jesus was asked, ‘Which is the great commandment in the Law?’ He replied in Matthew 22:37-40, “37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)
We have and will always live in times of uncertainty. From wars and disease to famine, hunger, and death, the list goes on and on. Specifically in March of 2020, we are living in what seems like a show from the Twilight Zone…remember that sci-fi show in the early 1960’s? I never in my lifetime thought I would go to the store and not be able to buy toilet paper. But that is where we find ourselves. COVID-19 has brought about anxiety, fear, panic, and uncertainty.
A.W. Tozer wrote many years ago, “A frightened world needs a fearless church.” Jesus says in John 14:27, “27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” These words of Jesus were spoken hours before He faced being arrested, tortured, spit upon, and crucified on a cross for you and me.
Church, it is time to step up and step out. Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Love thy Neighbor! How can we love our neighbor? Check in with your actual neighbors often, make runs to the grocery store/pharmacy for the elderly/sick or homebound, share from your surplus. Be in prayer for our community and country, our leaders and medical workers, our schools and our world as we battle this virus together.
Here are some verses to help each day of the week (from “A Peaceful Heart in Panicky Times” by Bob Russell):
Monday: Joshua 1:9, “9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Tuesday: Psalm 46:1-2, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea…”
Wednesday: Isaiah 40:31, “31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”