Responding To The Coronavirus
In the midst of all the information being circulated regarding the Coronavirus, we want you to know that it’s our priority to make Northstar a safe, comfortable place for you and your family. With the understanding that this is an evolving situation, our team is closely following information released by the CDC and will revise our policies and procedures appropriately. It is important to remember that while being in church each week for an hour is a high point, it is not the only point.
Something To Talk About:
God allows crises like the coronavirus to take place in our lives for His sovereign purpose, but we must not let our fears keep us from being faithful to His gospel in our lives. That means we must continue to be a good light to our community. Consider the following:
- Live by faith, not by fear: Our church leadership feels that exercising caution is not only wise but a good witness to our community. So, our decisions are not reactions of fear, but reactions of faith as we trust our Lord’s word and consider the well being of others. This whole experience reminds us anew of the power of fear. We fear the unknown. We fear economic collapse. We fear for our health, and now we fear the coronavirus. This is the time to remember Psalm 11. The psalm personifies the voice of fear: “I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, ‘Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows… The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?”’ (Psalm 11:1-3) These few verses give us the two main objectives of fear. First, fear always calls us to withdraw from the world so we can find a place of safety. Second, it tells us that things have gone so awry, there is nothing we as the people of God can do to restore hope. However, Jesus reminds us that even though we will have trouble in this world, we need not fear because He has overcome the world. We have been called to boldly enter this world, with all of its brokenness. We must be bearers of hope in the midst of fear. One of the most important messages we can bear today is that we do not need to live in fear because God is in control.
- Live sacrificially, not selfishly: Jesus said, “For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep. For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul? (Matthew 16:25-26 TPT). During this crisis, we need to live sacrificially. What would happen if you began every day by running down a mental checklist of who you might help, rather than how you plan on helping yourself? Does the concept of loving others seem too intangible? Or impossible? Start by seeing how you could help meet the needs of those most at risk. As we learned in Hurricane Michael people have needs that you would never know about unless you asked. Let the act of giving away your thoughts, time and resources carry you to a place of living sacrificially. Galatians 5:16-17 (MSG) says, “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?” So what can I do to help others?
- Shine the light; do not hide it: The Coronavirus outbreak could possibly be the greatest outreach opportunity for the church worldwide. It is an opportunity to shine as a light to the world.“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) The church is God’s vehicle for working in this world. It is in the middle of a crisis you will find the people of God doing God’s redemptive work. It is the local church’s honor and responsibility to be a bright light and to continue to burn until the crisis is over and then continue burning. The truth is, recovering from the coronavirus may not be quick or easy. But it is the role of the local church to be there throughout the entire process, consistently assessing the needs of their people while representing the physical hands and feet of Jesus. As a result, we are not planning just for the here and now, but how we can help meet the needs of our local community for the months and years to come.
- What can we do as a church to grow stronger as the Body of Christ as a result of the Coronavirus?
- What can you do as an individual to grow stronger as a Christian as a result of the Coronavirus?
- This is a time of anxiety and fear: What can we do this week to give those fears to God?
- Knowing God and His Word allows us to face our fears with faith. Why? How can you do this in practical ways?
- How can we be a church when we can’t gather on Sunday mornings? Take a minute to list a few scriptures you can think about when you begin to feel fear creeping in. What are practical ways we can trust God with our future?
- What fears do you need God’s love to cast out?
- What are your expectations for this week as a result of Sunday’s message?
- Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?
Take one thing home with you:
There will always be emergencies. We live in a world that is replete with emergencies: some big, some little, some important, some less important. When life’s emergencies have our backs against the wall when confounding circumstances have us going around in circles when perplexing problems have us pondering which way to turn, when fear, doubt, and dismay cloud our hearts and minds, we must call on the One who is well-able to solve all our problems and rescue us from every dilemma.
Jesus understands all the fears and worries that you have. Jesus understands you, not only because He is divine and understands all things but because He was human and experienced all things. Go to Him in prayer. And trust that He hears you and is with you.