Jesus told this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” – Matthew 13:31-32
By Nicky Gumbel, The Alpha Course
A global pandemic is like a war. Though the enemy is invisible, the effects are widespread and devastating – and no one is left unaffected. Countless people are hungry, lonely, sick, homeless, and in need.
When this war is over, we will be asked, “What did you do in the war?” The church is in the most unique position of all: It is global, it is local, and it is a network so powerful that no government can match it.
And this is the moment for the church to respond. If we don’t, we will be rightly judged, because we have capabilities beyond anything a local or national government can attain. We can meet people where they are. We can feed them, clothe them, and give them shelter. When people are lonely, we can call them and check in with them. When our healthcare workers don’t have the ability to make meals for themselves and their families, we can provide.
Throughout history, in times of pandemic and pain, the church has always stayed when others left. Now more than ever before in our lifetimes, this is the moment for the church to rise up and meet the growing needs in our communities, our countries, and the world.
How is God calling you to be generous with your heart, to step into the pain and the fear and join the extraordinary network of the church? When the war is over, and you are asked what you did in the war, what do you want your response to be?
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your goodness and mercy to us, and for your church. From tiny, humble beginnings you have grown the church into a global network, touching lives all over the world. Show us how to bless those in our communities, how to seek out those who are suffering during this time, and how to meet those needs. Show us how you would want us to respond, to rise up, during this time of war against an invisible enemy. Tell your story of redemption through us. Amen.