I’ve been thinking a lot about our church image. Not the logo but how Pine Grove Bible Church is perceived? Maybe I should say, “Do people even think of Pine Grove Bible Church? If so, what? If not, why? We have much to offer. We have life, both now, in the present and then, in the future. Right now our neighbors are thinking a lot about life. They want to thrive and survive. We have both, in the abundance of life now and certainty of life then when death eventually arrives. Might we be accused of being hoarders of life?
Pandemics are a profound reminder that God is sovereign over life. Thus reminded, we must reckon with our own limitations. Are these days of uncertainty producing in us wavering fear or confident hope? Let’s not forget that we are forever under the rule and reign of Jesus our King.
In times like this we followers of our Global King should:
Be aware without undue alarm.
Be cautious resist panic.
Be quieted in unsettling times.
Be Christ’s followers obeying God’s word.
Be good citizens following governmental directions.
Be loving neighbors sharing with those nearby.
Jesus has fed us the bread of life.
Jesus has supplied us His living water.
Jesus has welcomed our sin infected lives into his glorious presence.
Jesus has protected us with His righteousness.
Jesus has healed us from our sin.
Jesus has liberated us from bondage to fear.
Hear Jesus timely words, “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’” Matthew 25:34-40 NET
Our nearness to those who are fearful—or infected—is not an accident. Jesus the sovereign King has providentially positioned us in this moment of history Why? To welcome the unwanted into his kingdom. How? Now, through our generous actions and loving words. Then, as always, by His grace. Be cautious and caring. Be prepared and trust God. In the interim, how will we at Pine Grove Bible Church reflect in these times of trouble? It is all up to us. Will our neighbors say, “They really cared about our lives both now and then.”
Striving Together, Both Now and Then