A word about our Church Services and the Coronavirus
We will be having all of our regular services and programs this Sunday at Calvary Chapel as usual. Though we can’t see into the future I don’t anticipate us doing anything different going forward. I am asking though that we are all conscious and are sensitive to one another’s tolerance level regarding handshakes, hugs and embraces. Please don’t take it personally if someone gives you a wave or a nod instead of an embrace or tight handshake. We won’t be giving out complimentary hand sanitizers again this week so please bring your own. If you are sick, especially with a fever, please stay home. Don’t forget to turn your clock ahead one hour. I hope to see you Sunday.
Pastor Dave Watson
A word about the Christian and Coronavirus
Brothers and Sisters in Christ
I trust this note finds you well. With world and national events as they are, I am finding that many people are very anxious. As I write to you the Coronavirus has a lot of people on edge. The media is in a frenzy. The World Health Organization is issuing dire warnings. The stock market is up and down like a yo-yo. Conferences are being canceled. The price of medical masks and hand sanitizers has become astronomical. Yes, we are all a little uptight.
I am not an expert in public health. I’ll let the professionals advise us in those matters. However, the Scriptures have a lot to say about our private health, our mental health. So let me remind myself and you of God’s prescription for sanity in the midst of stressful circumstances.
Jesus, in His most famous of messages, the Sermon the Mount, speaks to the issue of anxiety. He reminds His audience of some important truths. He says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” – Matthew 6:25
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:27
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:31-34
In other words, replace your worry with perspective from God. God has our back.
While in prison, the apostle Paul, no stranger to opportunities to be stressed out, gives advice to the Philippian Church which was under stress because of persecution. He says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
In other words, replace your worry with prayer to God. God will hear our prayers and give our hearts peace that transcends our ability to figure things out.
The Northern Kingdom of Israel was dispersed by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. The Southern Kingdom, Judah, was understandably anxious about their own future with the same enemy stalking them. To them the LORD through Isaiah says:
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.” – Isaiah 26:3-4
In other words, replace your worry with a constant pondering on God and who God is. The LORD is our Rock and worthy of our eternal trust.
The apostle Peter, who is later martyred for the faith, writes to the believers scattered because of persecution throughout the Roman Empire. Yes, they were stressed. At the end of his first epistle he tells his readers:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7
In other words, replace your worry with the promise of God. I can give all my concerns to God because God has made me His concern.
Jesus, Paul, Isaiah and Peter give us sound, life-calming advice. The Perspective from God, Prayer to God, Pondering on God and Promise of God are great prescriptions for dealing with our anxieties. You and I might be wise to follow them. They are prescriptions that will keep our hearts and minds healthy. When you feel anxiety creeping in please read these prescriptions again and again if necessary. Do what they tell you to do. They are good medicine for the soul. As we deal with our worries this way we will find our anxiety level dropping. We will also be a positive testimony to the world around us of the reality of our faith in very anxious times.
Pastor Dave Watson