OUR HISTORY & THE PRESENT
The early church was no stranger to plagues, epidemics, and mass hysteria. In fact, according to both Christian and non-Christian accounts, one of the main catalysts for the church’s explosive growth in its early years was the Christian response to crisis.
Historically, the non-Christian response to the plague was characterized by self-protection, self-preservation, and avoiding the sick at all costs.
The Christian response was and is the opposite! Even in the face of our churches having to temporarily close their facilities we are watching as the church in New Jersey continues to love our neighbors collaboratively through the missional work of Star of Hope!
This has been a season where we have seen the church is at its best!
How might we put our history as the church into practice in the face of COVID-19, setting ourselves apart from the world in how we respond to the growing epidemic? Perhaps we begin by resisting the fear that is leading to panic in various sectors of society—instead modeling peace and calm in the midst of rising anxiety all around us.
We might also seek to sacrificially serve our neighbors by prudently abiding by the advice of medical professionals to help slow the spread of the disease.
Instead of just our own health we should prioritize the health of the wider community, especially the most vulnerable citizens, by exercising an abundance of caution without perpetuating fear, hysteria, or misinformation.
This might mean costs for us, but we should accept these costs with joy.
Pastor Matt Andersen
SOHM Executive Director