Church is in Jesus
Raising of Lazarus and the Corona Pandemic
March 29, 2020
Father David Jones
Interesting these days young people are calling me and asking me “is this the end?”
I’m responding “I don’t think so” because God still has work for young people to do.
There’s an old proverb attributed to East Indian culture that says “in the end everything will be alright.”
So if everything is not alright, this is not the end. What a wonderful thought of God.
“We have come this far by faith.” “I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me.” “God is already here.”
We are full of these wonderful sayings, these wonderful songs, these wonderful proverbs that keep reminding us that with God we got this. We know this. This is not the end. Nor is it the beginning.
The most important part about being a church right now is to know what it means to be a church.
Check your commitment, keep your faith, and stand strong and steady with the God who is unchanged.
Jesus was at church.
Lazarus was ill. Mary was worried. Martha was moody. The disciples were confused.
But Jesus was at church. Just chilling at church, perhaps.
Church if you are at church you don’t have to be in the church building. This is what Jesus was teaching his disciples. Church is in Jesus.
Church is in Jesus’ name. And God is always the same. Every time and every place. The alpha and the omega. No beginning. No end. No bricks. No mortar. And always right on time.
We have to be church in an unstoppable way.
Fear will stop you. Church will keep you growing.
Doubt will make you stumble. Church will pick you up, turn you around, and start you anew all over again.
We are in a pandemic. That means the whole world is united in suffering at the same time.
That should clearly ring little bells in our church-trained ears. Not “the whole world is suffering.” “The whole world is united in suffering.”
Pandemic means all peoples. Pandemic disease means the disease is everywhere. Church bells ought to be ringing because God is everywhere.
The epidemiologist tells us that if all people stop touching one another at the same time (that’s the social part), if we all do it together (church bells should be ringing any time anybody says let us all come together and do something together), if we all come together and do human contact differently, the virus they tell us will die in just a few days for lack of human contact.
Church bells are ringing. When all God’s children get together we’re going to have a good time. Not a scary time. Not a world wide funeral. Not a panic. Not a time for the rich and famous but rather a time for the good and the just. And not just for life but for life more abundantly.
Church bells ring in order to tell us to come together and do what the Lord wants done because of our godly connection.
So this is not the beginning. This is not the end. Perhaps in our vernacular this is something like saying “it’s just another day of living.” Another opportunity to be of service to the Lord. Another chance to be church. Another opportunity to be the body of Christ. The only body that is not susceptible to earthly vices and earthly viruses.
The scientists are looking and searching for the antibody. Thanks be to God.
Some of them have already found the body of Christ. Thanks be to God.
Two important missions. Great works with a big twist.
Some doctors are merely trying to keep us on earth. Other doctors, the ones in church, are trying to make the earth a little more like heaven day by day. That’s the mission.
Viruses can tear up a lot but they can also clear up a lot. The mission of the church is to make the earth a little more like heaven day by day. Even if it is only for one hour on Sunday morning.
It depends on how willing we are, how important it is for us, and how many of us are standing in the need of prayer ready to come together in the name of Jesus in anyway that God can make that happen.
Or Allah the magnificent, or Jehovah, or HaShem. Depending on how you pray with us and for us to do what God wants done by us.
Jesus’ point is that there is power in coming together. And super power in coming together in the name of Jesus to do the will of God.
Jesus and Lazarus were in church together. Not in the same room together. They were in church together. They were keeping on and staying on mission together. It doesn’t matter if we do that when we are sick or when we are well. When we are alive or when we are dead. What matters is that we do that and we do that together. That we stay together and we do what the Lord has called us to do together. To do what he woke us up this morning. Make the earth a little more like heaven today.
There are two types of people in this world. Those who use their time, talent, treasure, and being to make the earth a little more like heaven. And those, frankly, who make the earth a little more like hell.
The first group is what we call the church, if we join them. This is a time to find new ways to do what God has always wanted done.
If you are struggling with your faith because your attention is consumed by your fear, just send a donation, a check, or in some way check in. It’s always the least of what we can do.
And the people walking by faith and not by sight will do the most. We will pray. We will keep this faith. We will honor this God because we can and have been told to do so.
God’s will shall be done. Not so much in your life or my life but God’s will shall be done in church.
Remember, this is not the end. But even if it were, the goal would be the same. Stay together, stay prayed up, stay at church, and keep singing “Victory is already mine” with the choirs of angels.
And let Jesus always and forever more lead the solo.