As the current state of our country requires us to take social distancing seriously, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the pace and magnitude of the changes being made around us. And as we consider the implications of remaining in our homes over the next several weeks, that prospect can understandably feel isolating and limiting.
One thing that does not change, however, in the face of these challenges is the calling on the Church to be a people of peace, light, and community. Instead of allowing this season of social distancing to be an isolating experience for yourself and your community, take this opportunity to be intentional in new ways - to show up for others creatively and to bring the light of Jesus to others in these uncertain times.
Don’t let fear and anxiety win. Make sure to be taking time to lay your burdens down through prayer and spending time in the Word. With so many things changing, it’s important to remember the constancy, steadfastness, and faithfulness of our God throughout the generations. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Looking for a place to start? Matthew 6:25-34 and Romans 12:12 have been important to our staff this week as we lean heavily into the sovereignty of God. Also, don’t forget about all the ways you can connect with God - through His word, worship, being outdoors, journaling, meditating on scripture, drawing, dancing, etc. Now is a great time to either revive previous ways that you connected with God or to try out some new ones!
We are blessed that an event like this is taking place in an age where technology connects us easily to others on a wider scale than ever before in human history. Be intentional to reach out to someone via text, phone call, or video chat every day. Prioritize those who live alone, those who struggle with feelings of loneliness or with mental health, and those who are dealing with major adjustments. Many people have experienced hardship in their job or livelihood, are working from home while taking care of kids home from school, or are sacrificing daily by working in the healthcare fields that are meeting this challenge head-on. Take the time to encourage each other, be honest, be silly, pray together, and remind each other of the truth of who holds our future.
Get creative! Watch movies together over video chat, play simple games, or get a small video chat Bible study going. Our staff here at PPM are gathering over video chat every morning over the next several weeks to pray together, read scripture, and get our days started off right!
Keep your eyes out for local ministries and businesses who are stepping up to help fill in the gaps over the next few weeks. Support local restaurants who are helping to provide meals for students who struggle with food security. Offer your services for a church that is safely delivering meals to the elderly. Order takeout from locally-owned restaurants and cafes that will feel the effects of these events for a long time.
The Church is to be invested and engaged in what affects the community. Keep your eyes and ears open to what is happening and show up in generous ways so others can see that life in Christ isn’t constrained by fear and self-focus, but thrives in peace, trust, and reliance on Him for provision.
We believe strongly that prayer is an incredible force and vital part of life. It transforms us internally and brings the will of God to fruition in our world. Carve out time to refresh and deepen your prayer life. Pray for wisdom for all the leaders in churches, businesses, and governments worldwide as they navigate uncharted territory. Pray for global pastors as they care for their congregations and adapt their ministry. Pray for healthcare workers - for perseverance, strength, and the same for their families.
Take heart in this fact - this will be only a season, so take this time to reset your intentions and priorities and be ready to act and go when it comes to an end! It’s our prayer that this would be a time of renewed connection with God and with others, even as it is a time that, on the surface, seeks to isolate. We believe that God can work in and through all things, and so we pray for an outpouring of His presence on His people, for abundant peace, for a rich sense of community for all, for clarity in personal and collective callings, and for His people to be ready to run as soon as we’re able, all in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen.
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