I hope you recognize this statement: “Connecting with God, Connecting with others, Connecting others with God”. Of course that is the theme and purpose statement of our church.
But in a time of quarantine and isolation from each other, two out of the three statements become pretty hard to do. Of course as many of us are spending most of our time at home, we should be able to find a quiet place in our homes and open our Bibles, or a devotional book and spend several minutes a day reading and meditating on the Lord and His words to us – connecting with Him.
We have been told by national and state leaders that for our own good, and the good of others, we need to keep a distance from each other. The problem then is clear — how are we supposed to connect with each other, helping one another in a time of need, when we are not even supposed to be in the same room with each other?
Over the last couple of weeks it has been very gratifying to hear of our Swift Creek Family creatively connecting with one another. Classes are using the internet to meet face to face. And I have made numerous phone calls to members in the “higher risk” group, to see if there was some way we could help them at this time. Almost without exception I have been told that either a family member or Swift Creek Church member has already been there for them or called to offer help.
We are seeing the church being the church. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment was to ”love your neighbor as yourself “, and I believe we are being given one of the greatest opportunities in our lifetime to show the world what the love of Jesus can look like.
We have been told in no uncertain terms that the risk is many times greater to our older and weaker citizens. So many of our younger or stronger members have offered to run necessary errands to stores or pharmacies so that the most vulnerable will not be subjected to the threat of infection.
It is likely that this time of self-distancing and quarantine will continue for some time; and your pastors want to thank you for showing the love of Jesus to our world, and encourage you to not grow weary in well doing. Look for opportunities to help and protect the most vulnerable; be grateful and express thanks to healthcare workers and first responders, and pray for them. Let us not cower in fear and turn our backs on those in need, but instead be courageous in faith and step in to help when we have opportunity.
When all of this is over, the way that we are responding now to those around us, the way that we love and help those in need, will make all the difference in the impact and effectiveness that we will have as a church or as individuals, for years to come. As we connect with those in need, they will see that it is because of the love of Christ, and many will be drawn to Him.
So Swift Creek, in the Pandemic of 2020, let’s be the church— Connecting with God, Connecting with others, and Connecting others with God!