As you can see, this post was going to be about Lent. But it seems today has been hijacked by COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus.
My son’s 5th grade orientation was abruptly cancelled just hours before it started. Kids were full out crying in his class, they were so disappointed.
In the space of one day, sporting events have gone from “parents and guardians only” to completely cancelled. Theatre and choir events are hanging by a thread and likely will be cancelled, possibly rescheduled.
Colleges and universities have moved to online virtual classes. Churches are preparing, if not have already decided, to livestream services on Sunday. I’m thinking our school district isn’t far from making the decision to close.
And… toilet paper has not been seen in our Costco for over a week now.
The normal junk emails have been replaced by emails from restaurants and stores telling me all the ways they are thinking first about keeping us safe along with their employees.
To be honest, I think I prefer the junk emails.
I’m not downplaying the necessity of all these precautions or the value to those who have compromised immune systems or have immune-deficient family members needing those around them to stay healthy. I’m just tired of trying to figure out what is hype and panic and good sense – and I’m an enneagram 6, people!! It’s all going through my head anyway, let me tell you.
So what does this have to do with theology? Stick with me a minute.
The passage we’re studying in BSF this week is 1 Corinthians 15-16 and in the middle of a passage where Paul is talking about our physical bodies and what resurrection means, he says:
When the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (vs 54-58 italics mine)
This virus is part of this messed up world we live in. The fear is too, but we don’t have to live in that part. It’s the sting of death and the power of sin that tries to use fear to hold us – but THANKS BE TO GOD!! We stand in the victory by being steadfast, immovable, abounding in the work He gives us (the next right things of loving and protecting our neighbors and families and caring for them the best we can) knowing we do it for Him and it’s never meaningless.
This is where my heart has been today.
Maybe this is part of our Lenten season to remind us He conquered the power of sin, death and fear. He felt it all and knew the cost intimately – yet He endured knowing the coming joy.
We can too.
While we all do the things our leaders tell us and we use the common sense our Creator has given us, let’s remember to fix our eyes on Him – for the joy we know is coming!