By now, you probably know that Covid-19 can give you headaches, upset stomach, difficulty breathing, body aches, fever, impact your ability to taste & smell and a variety of other such symptoms (including death) that seem to vary from one victim to another.
As if the above were not bad enough, I have seen that this malady can now boast what I believe to be even more tragic secondary side-effects. See if you have noticed anyone suffering from the following:
Þ Division over opinions about how seriously we should take Covid
Þ Division over opinions regarding changing assembly times because of new cases of Covid
Þ Division over opinions about personal attendance of assemblies based on the risk of spreading/contracting Covid
Þ Division over opinions about having Bible classes in addition to worship
Þ Division over opinions on the effectiveness & the need for masks
Þ Division over opinions about the importance of “social distancing”
Þ Division over opinions regarding our adherence to local government mandates
Þ Division over opinions regarding the safety and effectiveness of vaccines
Þ Division over opinions about the political aspects of Covid
Þ Division over opinions as to whether our response to Covid is based in faith, fear or common sense
Jesus teaches us to care for the sick, and I am proud to say that this congregation seems to excel at that. Prayers, cards, calls, food, medicine, errands and much more have been lovingly provided to those who are suffering.
But how do you minister to a church that is struggling with division over the secondary side-effects? What would you prescribe? What would the Great Physician prescribe?
Patience, maybe like we see in Job? How about some of that longsuffering & forbearance we read about in Ephesians? A strong dose of tolerance for other’s opinions could help. Submission like Hebrews instructs is part of the plan too (even for Americans). Above all, there must be daily injections of love; love for individuals; love for the church; and love for the future of the Lord’s church here once we are “past” all this present mess.
Thankfully, many who’ve had Covid have survived it. Will the church survive? Oh, I assure you, the church will survive. I suppose the question is, “What will I have ministered to the church during this crisis?”