This past week alone has been 84 years. I know I haven’t written in awhile, and this was NOT supposed to be my first post of 2020, but here we are. I’ll jump right in.
COVID-19 has the whole world SHOOK. I am not a scientist, or an epidemiologist, or a public health professional, and I will not pretend to be one. Here’s my only piece of advice; wash your hands with soap and practice social distancing. That’s honestly just good life advice in general.
It has been amazing to watch how this virus has changed everything. The NBA season is suspended, schools have closed, and flights are so cheap, I can fly to Puerto Rico for lunch. And best believe it’s tempting…
As cities and states begin to grapple with this pandemic, new rules are being put in place by the day. In many areas, any large gatherings of over 250 people are banned. For most places of worship, that means church has officially been canceled. For smaller churches who may still be having services, the traditional church welcome filled with hugs, kisses, and handshakes, is also canceled. And you can forget about potluck or fellowship meals after service.
Personally, I am here for it. As an introvert, I have been waiting for such a time as this. But the reactions from the saints have truly been wild. They fall into around three categories.
The first group of saints is UPSET that church services have been suspended. Many of them are older and actually the most susceptible to Rona- excuse me- coronavirus. I’ve heard countless stories of saints who are just livid. Never mind that half the book of Leviticus is about controlling disease among God’s people. If you canceled church, it’s obviously because you don’t have faith and don’t trust in God. Okay Boomer.
Then there is the group who is going off about end times. I mean they are just going IN. Suddenly, now is the time to have deep theological discussions about signs of the times and the last days. These are the people who post Matthew 24 as their Facebook status. Some Adventists may throw in a couple Ellen White quotes about country living for a little razzle dazzle.
There’s a subgroup of saints in this category. They are “woke” Christians who made an acronym for COVID- Christ over viruses and infectious diseases. And honestly, I’m tired of y’all too.
These are the saints saying they are “covered”, telling people to read their Bibles, and yelling faith over fear. There is a sense of entitlement and the stench of self-righteousness surrounds you. Cut it out. It’s not cute, or holy for that matter.
The final group has given me the best laughs. They have absolutely no idea what to do, so they just try to carry on like normal. This saint puts on his suit and tie, goes to church, turns on Facebook Live, and has bible study with the empty pews. And I’m sure somebody’s auntie sat fully dressed for church- hat and all- in the living room and watched. These saints- who are often leaders- are not sure how to switch to virtual church, or online giving, and aren’t prepared to do so. At the same time, they look silly as they pretend that this virus hasn’t changed church as we know it.
So what does church in the age of COVID-19 actually look like?
It looks like going grocery shopping for those in your community who can’t right now. It means not hoarding things like toilet paper, Clorox wipes, and hand sanitizer. Returning tithe and offering means blessing a waitress with some cash since she probably won’t be receiving any tips over the next few weeks.
Church in the age of coronavirus looks like lending single parents- who now face weeks of school closures- a hand. It means making sure your diabetic friend is has enough juice and snacks. Checking in on people who live alone is also a good idea. All this social isolation and distancing is gonna drive some people crazy.
It is not the time to panic. It is not the time to fear monger, guilt trip, or beat people over the head with scripture. It is also not the time to worry about church finances and how offerings will go down.
This is the time to show kindness, spread peace, and practice some self control. You know- the fruit of the Spirit- the way real Christians behave. Love has not been cancelled- give somebody hope…from 4 to 6 feet away. I leave you with James 4:8. “…Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts…” The doors of the church are closed. Stay healthy, be smart, remain practical.