Uncomfortable yet? COVID-19 has changed our lives. We can see an array of responses in our world as we face an unprecedented pandemic. The challenge of living into this world is unsettling and we seek the guidance needed to live in this time. As a people of faith, we turn to the Scriptures and our community of faith to find direction.
Remember this: we were never called by Christ to be comfortable. Rather, Jesus called us to be Disciples. If ever there were a time to be a disciple, it is today. If we were comfortable before, this has all changed. We are in the midst of a challenge that is greater than we may have ever known before. When Christ called us to follow him, Jesus made a promise, “I will be with you always.” So we know that Jesus is with us in this challenge.
Challenges come to grow us to be more of the Disciples that Christ has called us to be. Just this past week our lectionary scripture gave us a truth we need to realize in this time.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
3 And not only that, but we[a] also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
And hope does not disappoint us! We have a witness to bring to a world in despair. The hope in us is the Christ of glory. It is this hope that shares a light that shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. When we are faced with a challenge, as we are with COVID-19, we take a stand in faith. We are not defeated, we are Disciples of Jesus Christ. We cannot afford to strive to be comfortable. We must seek to be Disciples. Being Disciples, we will be creative in sharing our ministry with Christ to meet the challenge of this day. Be encouraged and know that Christ is true to his promise. Jesus is with us and will speak creatively in you and through you. You will be and do those things that are needed to help our communities weather and live through this challenge today.
Rev. Gil Wise
Beacon District Superintendent