ONE of the confounding things about the whole COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing is this – everything around us looks normal.
We’ve had some glorious days lately; beautiful sunshine, drenching a lush landscape, cool refreshing air.
I’m sure if you’ve been out on your exercise walk each day, or having a cycle or run, you couldn’t have failed to notice just how lovely and normal everything looks in the world around us. Yet lurking in the apparent normality lives an invisible killer – the virus.
So we cross the road when we approach someone on our walk; we stand 2m apart when speaking and we shuffle in supermarket queues – that’s just the queue to get into the shop.
Yet the birds still sing, daffodils grow, sun rises and sets and as I look out my window new life is springing up in nature every day. God is doing a new thing, as He does every year without fail!
As I pause and consider what is going on and the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves I cannot but help believing that our Lord right now is doing a new thing. I’m not making any comment either way on whether God has sent the virus or not. He’s God, who am I to second guess what he does or does not, and why? Indeed those who dwell too much on that question may waste an opportunity to witness; but I’m convinced He’s doing a new thing or things, not the least of which is to cause us to pause, consider the big questions of life and its meaning and make a decision about Him!
Making a decision about Him is for me the really important bit. In this world, His world, He will not be ignored. He broke into this world in the person of Jesus Christ to ultimately remind us of His love for us as Jesus went to the cross and He will break in again when Christ returns. In the meantime He constantly reminds us of His presence even if we are too often too busy to notice. You see unlike the invisible virus, God is visible in and through US!
We are made in the image of the living God and those who have already made a decision for Jesus carry God around within us in the person of the Holy Spirit and it is in the outworking of our faith that God becomes visible to those around us. Now this is not about being simply ‘good’. It’s not especially hard to be good or do an act of kindness especially for those we love. However, to stop looking within ourselves for answers and look outward and obediently to the living God for our sense of purpose and our power, is something quite different. That person will defy what the world thinks as good. In Psalm 8 the passage begins and ends with the same words:
‘O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the world!’
The majestic is the revelation of God’s character in the world and for us that character is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, our saviour. You see Christians, yes, do good but more so, they do Jesus!
Do you want to do good or do you want to do Jesus? You see doing Jesus won’t always be seen and understood by the world as doing good. Telling people about Jesus Christ, sharing His Gospel is a good thing for the Christian to do, indeed an imperative of discipleship; yet the world frowns upon it and in some nations you’ll get locked up or worse killed for doing so as it’s seen as a direct challenge to the authority of the state.
And when we do Jesus we don’t do it invisibly – we stand up and stand out. We don’t infect people like the virus; we edify people through the visible love of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. We love those who the world says shouldn’t be loved; we care for what the world doesn’t care about.
So again, do you want to do good or do Jesus?
Just a thought… Blessings, Carlton.