2 Timothy 1: 7-8 – “ For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.” – NLT
March has come and gone. No madness basketball, no opening day baseball, and worst of all we have not had in person services in two weeks. Covid-19 has changed the landscape of how we interact with each other, work, have school, and play. The closest thing that we have to compare this epidemic to is the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Through all of this our life as the church is changing. We are not gathering together in person, and yet the church still moves on. We are still providing food and meals for families in need, and we are still praying and covering our community with much needed love and care. As in all of the world’s epidemic and pandemic situations of the past, God is still in control. We can study our history and see many times where plague and disease has taken many lives and yet the movement of God has not stopped over those years.
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he is imprisoned in Rome. Confined to a prison cell, Paul never forgets the reason that Jesus interrupted his life as a Pharisee and brought back his site. He was isolated from all the people that he loved and all the people that he had brought the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to. He was alone. In most of Paul’s writings from prison he never once is fearful for his life. He is never afraid of the unknown. He is never worried about whether or not Jesus is coming to help him. Paul is always firmly aware of his situation, and yet never overwhelmed by the weight of what might happen to him. Instead, Paul is constantly praising God and writing to the people he loves with words of encouragement and keeping their faith strong in the face of adversity.
We need to continue to read words of encouragement and faith during times like these. We need to match the faith of Paul and continue to impress upon others the Gospel message of Christ. God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
This is a perfect time for you to ignite your faith. It is a perfect time to learn how to utilize technology to engage in groups and keep your faith alive. It is a great time to organize prayer groups and vigils to begin praying for our communities, families, friends, and medical workers. We can make our spiritual life whatever we want to make it. Now is the time.