By: G.J. Fortier
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. John 20: 1 (NIV)
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news. “I have seen the Lord!” John 20: 18 (NIV)
Now, y’all do remember last week’s article when I said that these are just opinion pieces, right?
It’s five something in the afternoon on Wednesday, April 8th, 2020. I just got home from work and took the dog out. Then I realized that I had a short article to write for publication on Friday, the 10th of April, 2020 … which is two days before Easter Sunday … and, up to now, I had no idea what I was going to write about. This is not, by any means, the first time that this has happened either. Often times I realize that a deadline is fast approaching and I’m at a loss for what to write about. And then, just like so many other times, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, telling me what the subject will be this time around.
Only this time He looked exactly like Georgia’s Governor, Brian Kemp, wearing a blue oxford shirt and khakis.
Now, the Lord—I mean Brian—was talking at a press conference concerning the COVID-19 task force’s efforts to combat this scourge, when He—through Brian—mentioned something about church members gathering for worship at their sanctuaries. Well, naturally, I thought, “How stupid can people possibly be? Don’t they know that one of the most virulent viruses’ the world has ever seen is infecting hundreds of thousands of people across the globe? Didn’t they hear the Governor’s decree last week about staying home and not gathering in groups larger than ten?”
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority … 1 Peter 2:13 (NIV)
Easter is the celebration, as it says in the verses above, of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s one of two Sunday’s each year when even the laziest among us who call themselves Christians—whether they are or not is debatable—diligently gather in our houses of worship. And rightly so. But not this year.
And you know what? That’s okay!
I could tell you … again … about our collective unprecedented situation, but I’m pretty sure that you’re aware. So, instead, I’ll just say this: it is fine that you can’t get to the “church” for morning worship for the foreseeable future. I’m confident that the Lord understands. Sure, Matthew 18:20 says something about wherever two or three are gathered in His name is a “church”, but when they wrote that, they didn’t have cellphones and the internet! For the past few weeks, my own church family has done tele-Sunday School and online worship on Facebook. God gave us these tools for just this kind of event. Be thankful that He’s done that! We don’t have to risk ourselves and our families in the sanctuary where we could be sitting too close to someone who is sick, or we might be sick ourselves and not even know it! Use your heads! Don’t be an idiot—in my opinion—by exposing yourself to the killer that COVID-19 is. Oh, it might not kill you, but if you become a carrier, how many others will you infect?
Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!