OFF KILTER BLOG: Covidus Interruptus #1


Who knew that in the span of a month our entire world would change drastically? A plague sweeps the land, and the people cower in fear. Intimacy is lost as we are made to distance ourselves from all other persons. We're made "island prisoners" in our own homes, only allowed out for "essential" work, food shopping, and the like. The first ammendment right to assemble is swept out the door in the name of emergency, and churches suddenly find that they are forbidden to meet. Is this the dark apocalyptic future that Saint fortold in their landmark heavy metal album Time's End from 1986? Most importantly, what should our role be as christians during this crisis? As the coronavirus has pulled us out of our normal lives and captured our complete attention, I would like to devote the next series of blogs to what God's Word would tell us in these times.

Who do we look to in these times of distress? Politicians, law makers, the media? All have left us lacking. Every time we follow man, no matter how well intentioned, we are led astray. We cry out for a saviour, but who will listen?

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber or sleep. The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalms 121 TNIV

The Psalmist cried out to God, because he knew that only God could help him in his distress. The media loves to keep chirping that the coronavirus situation is unprecedented, but is it really? No. Even rampant plagues are nothing new in human history. God is the only constant, our compass in the storm. He sees all, knows all, and nothing occurs that he doesn't know about and already have a plan for. As always, we need to look to him for guidance and help in times of trouble.

The Bible speaks often about sheep, because the people of that time were familiar with raising sheep and also because they made a great metaphor for people- dumb to a fault and willing to blindly follow the rest of the herd right off a cliff. Our enemy would love to use fear to drive you like a sheep to a quick demise. But there is no place for fear in you. Fear is not my guide (gratuitous Demon Hunter reference). You are a child of God, and as such, I beseech you to reject the herd mentality and seek God alone for the answers to this situation. He will never lead you astray. No situation can arise that he is unaware of, no contingency that he hasn't already planned. Cry out to God with me:

"Lord, in this time of great confusion and trouble, we put our faith in you and you alone. We reject fear. We know it has no place in our lives because we trust in your provision. We ask that you protect us, watch over us, and keep us from harm. As the world falls apart around us and people run around frantically, we recognize you as the Rock in our lives, the only place we can turn to, and we stand firm and trust in your plan for us. In Jesus' name we pray, amen."

#pastoralblog #HeavensMetalmagazine #TheChurchWorkChaplains #ChrisGatto #DougVanPelt

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