By Nneka Okumazie
There is a chance that the coronavirus is also a warning to churches and Christians. It is possible to watch how the COVID-19 roils the health system, the scientific community, the economy, etc. but to forget that church gatherings – where Jesus is in the midst – cannot hold.
Worship matters to God and the word of God in an assembly, but church is not possible – for now.
Coronavirus is a reminder that being able to gather in church is such a privilege. The thanksgiving should be ceaseless.
Many lose track of the reason or meaning for church, just like many do, for the meaning or reason for life.
Already, lots of Christians know much about the scriptures and many have familiarity with the church.
Some forget that no matter the amounts of things done right, or sacrificed, it is not an excuse to take God for granted – in any way.
Since the Lord is really patient, showing mercy and speaks, many feel comfortable to say some things or act in certain ways, but the Lord God may be saying to all, to take Him seriously.
Some people are in church but passionate about minding other people’s business. Some are in church and disregard the word of God, because no money, or health, or whatever they need in this life.
Yes, there are needs and life can be tough, but accepting God’s understanding is inestimable wisdom.
Also, what if someone is looking for something else, and God says first, to pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control?
It is possible that some of the people – who shouted to crucify Jesus – wanted Him to become a ruler, to free them from taxes and give them property, authority, etc.
They had seen miracles. Christ gave His word – looking beyond that immediate life and society for them. But no, some wanted Him to cease political power, to may be also payback their enemies.
They didn’t get what they wanted and rejected what they most needed.
Maybe that is also the case for many Christians, measuring Salvation through the telescope of needs.
The Lord may also be calling all to worship – in spirit and in truth.
Everlasting Father is calling people to be humble when they criticize others for misinterpretation of scriptures, or when they ask others to show them where it is in the scriptures.
Enemies of the church, in recent times, fiercely use those lines to attack the church.
So, even if an interpretation seems great, Christ is calling deep – for painful humility.
The friends of Job were saying what they think they know about God’s judgement, but the Lord said they were not right.
The disciples, asking who sinned – about the blind man – probably knew God visits iniquity beyond a generation. But Christ answered differently.
Jehovah may also be speaking to churches to not rate preachers by how well they interpret the scriptures, or if one person seems better than another, on any measure.
The word of God, settled, heals and delivers, not the word of man – limited by understanding.
So, any preacher – of the true word of God, in a church is not supposed to be in a rating race, on anyone’s mind, or met with dismissiveness.
Idolizing a preacher because of the preaching is not what the Mighty God expects.
The Lord may also be calling His people to repentance, obedience, faith, etc. There are so many people in churches who obey in certain areas and disobey in many others – God may be saying to all, to change.
This age of addiction – smartphone, immorality, drugs, etc. where people do anything to forget their problems, Christ is saying the greatest possession is to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.
God maybe calling churches against unbelief, remembering there was a location that Christ could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief.
[Matthew 13:58, And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.]
Christ may be reminding the church that He said, greater works.
[John 14:12, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.]
So, trying to calculate the Lord by things that didn’t change, or prayers that seems delayed, is may be not what God expects. In God’s response to Job, the Lord kept challenging his understanding.
The Lord is far, far higher than can be imagined, or understood.
The Lord may also be calling churches to new transparency, new diversity – even in places of similarities, new vision for the next couple of centuries, etc.
The Lord may also be calling the church to just cry for mercy.
[Psalm 143:2, And enter not into judgment with Thy servant: for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.]
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