I have a thought… which is scary, I know. But the thought ran through my mind… What about the Lepers? Stay with me, and hear me out! In my process to figure out this crazy scared world, I have to wonder…
When Jesus came down from the mountains, great multitudes followed Him. One day Jesus came across a man who was a leper, who worshipped Him and asked to be cleansed. Jesus answered the leper’s prayer and cleansed him… because …well …. He’s Jesus! The most interesting thing is that the multitude was right there with Jesus! If I were to guess, they weren’t six feet away or at home “social distancing,” worried “what if?” What if I get near a leper or someone may have a disease? What if they sneeze on me? What if the multitude gets close to me? The multitude has jumped on the bandwagon and followed Jesus. Of course, I get it. He is Jesus, with THE DIRECT LINE TO GOD THE FATHER! So, had I been in the multitude, I wouldn’t have had a worry in the world either, even though leprosy is kind of a big deal. I would have the confidence being with Jesus, and I would be safe. So, what do I think about our world under this aggravating pandemic? I’m not making light of it at all. It is a scary thing. And the thought of “catching “ something is frightening to all of us. I’m the one who is avoiding the regular cold, so believe me, I’m not asking for it.
My only response is this: when I was twenty-four years old, I signed up for a life lived allowing God to have full control. Through His Son Jesus and the access to salvation through His sacrifice on the cross, I’m all in. I fully gave my heart to Him that year (as well as my cute boyfriend whom I married, both the best decisions I had ever made), so if I believe now what I believed then, why would I be freaking out and not attending church? If there is any place I would not stay away from, it is church. The Holy Spirit that lives in me, through Jesus, is fully capable of keeping me safe through any crisis.
Furthermore, this is the time for Christians to “be there,” willing and able to provide calm, and not a spirit of fear. That fear can brake us. So many live in fear just in normal times. I have a pretty healthy fear (terror, actually) of snakes! I have never touched a snake, with the exception of one slinking over my brand new Nike red swoosh tennis shoes in 1982, which I never wore again. That being said, I may loose my mind if ever one dropped on my neck or touched me. But even with that ridiculous fear, I do believe that if it happened, I would survive it, with the Lords help. I may have to go dip in the pool of Bethesda afterwards, but I’d live. The fear does not control me, and fortunately I don’t, as a rule, get near snakes. I don’t even fear the bite. It’s mostly the thought of one touching me. So silly, I agree. Pray for me. I do believe if I found myself surrounded by snakes that my faith in Jesus would get me through… if I needed to save my granddaughter or something like that (who am I kidding, that girl would make friends with the snakes, ugh).
So, what in the world is my point? I’m not afraid to attend church. And I don’t feel bad about those who don’t feel safe being there. I just hope God’s people will not be fearful. We already live in a world where so many use any and every excuse as a “get out of church free” card. These are troubled times. And if we are to feel safer, I don’t know a better place than the Altar. It is the safest place on earth. The Lord meets us there. Of course, we can pray anywhere and everywhere. But how many times in the Word do we see God’s people take a stand? Sometimes you just have to choose to be as close to God as possible. The old timers aren’t worried; they lived through Great Depressions and World Wars, truly scary stuff. Nuclear Bombs in the hands of idiots is scary to think about. The whole world of known and unknown pestilences are always among us. At least half the battle of this pandemic is cleanliness. (next to godliness, by the way) So we clean, spray, disinfect, hand sanitizer etc. I can handle that. I’ve been saying it for years! So I’ll leave you with the scripture that I base my thinking out loud on. Just pray and believe that we will do all we can to do the right thing. Stop listening to the news so much. If it is our time to join the Lord in heaven, then it is our time. Be mindful that He is bringing this thing to an end. Watch the signs. And as my preacherman husband said so profoundly on Sunday, if the trumpet doesn’t sound and the Lord call us to meet Him in the air, 100 out of every 100 people born, will die. No getting around that fact! Just make sure you are ready!
Jesus Cleanses a Leper
“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.”Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses-commanded, as a testimony to them.” Matthew 8:1-4