I’m sure that’s what the Apostles were constantly asking each other. Every now and then, they asked Jesus as well. They felt that they were misled, that they would be elevated and honored, wealthy and powerful, independent and free. Instead, they were poor and endangered. They huddled together in a barricaded room, waiting for the green light to safely re-enter society.
In the last chapters of the Gospel of John and in the first two chapters of the Book of Acts, we see the Apostles in self-quarantine. Life in the outside world felt dangerous, life-threatening. There could be no guarantee of safety for them; they were carriers of a virus of sorts. They were tainted, infected. Jesus had implanted something in them. They knew it to be their divine purpose, but they were not yet ready to step out from their safe place.
As promised, Jesus sent them a cure for their frailty. He sent them a remedy for what ailed the entire world. He vaccinated them with the Holy Spirit. They were now empowered to undertake the mission that they had been prepared to fulfill. No longer did fear and self-preservation rule their behavior. With no guarantee as to their physical safety, they broke quarantine. With the new vaccine, they literally changed the world.
We are living in quarantine, in a bubble designed to protect humanity from a new virus. We are waiting for the government to release us, to declare that it is safe to venture out again. It is never going to be safe to go out again, but it never really was. This life on earth is fraught with peril. It is a condition of the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.
The situation the church finds itself in might be considered a little precarious. We are commanded to submit to governmental authority. We are also commanded to reach the entire world with the saving truth of the Gospel. In times like this, people need real truth which is real medicine. So, what can we do? We can care for the needs of others, within the confines of government mandate. We can spread the message of Jesus using all methods of communication available. We can pray, so that we can receive peace and power and purpose, just as the Apostles did so very long ago.
I encourage our Trinity family to be bold, to pray for peace and purpose. We are in the middle of transition. We are unsure when life will return to normal and are unsure as to what normal will be. We are saying good-bye to retiring pastors and staff; we are preparing to welcome their replacements. From an earthly perspective, we are unstable in so many ways. I suspect, however, that we are exactly where we are meant to be.
I ask you to do this:
-Pray for Dennis and Marti, their retirement plans are on hold, yet they continue to serve faithfully.
-Pray for Michael, our pastor candidate in waiting. This uncertainty has got to be tough.
-Pray for the rest of our staff who are working to normalize our church family in very abnormal circumstances.
-Pray for the elders. It is difficult to lead and to follow at the same time.
-Pray for the authorities in government, that they would lead boldly and without fear.
-Pray that this global crisis would produce a massive harvest of new believers.