No Matter What Happens, God is Sovereign Over All of Life

May 19, 2021

Leadership Notes


{The Chronicles of Corona}


I thought I'd share some reflections on the past 14 months.


In March of 2020, when Covid-19 arrived on the scene, there were a lot of unknowns surrounding the virus. My initial reaction was it was going to be like previous outbreaks of influenza, perhaps more like the Spanish flu of 100 years ago than the regular seasonal flu, but not catastrophic. Those of you who know me well know I am not one to overreact or panic or think the worst is about to happen. It's either reasonable, rational, and unafraid or careful, cautious, and unafraid with me.


In that first week, I talked with a few people who had a different take. These are people whose opinions I value and respect. They were more on the side of millions of deaths and a complete overwhelming of our healthcare system. One, my brother, who, with his wife, has a medical supply business, couldn't fill all the requests for body bags they were getting. It was an interesting week.


Covenant Church was one of the last churches in the greater Tecumseh area to switch to online worship only. We resumed in-person worship on June 21, and we never looked back. We did not become a hotspot for transmission of the virus, nor was our building ever closed down outside of pre-pandemic reasons {holidays, etc.}. Our leadership board was steady and faithful during these times. All of our ministry volunteers were stellar, in faith and deed, in those early months up to and including now. God has richly blessed Covenant Church with wonderfully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Challenging times reveal what's in our hearts. Or, as Jesus said, you will know the tree by its fruit. Wherever the people of Covenant Church stood on this issue, their utmost was given for the support of faithful worship and mission. To God be the Glory!


In the first three weeks of the shutdown, my wife and I erred on the side of caution. We limited trips to the store and used Amazon quite a bit. Lorrie Parker, our office manager, and I cut down on our hours at the church. I did a lot from home. I have to admit, with traffic curtailed, it was a delight to drive around town. Even in the earliest stages, my wife and I maintained a calm demeanor. Winsomeness would have best described us!


The first three weeks of the shutdown, we only saw our grand-daughters in person once, and then, it was them standing in the driveway while we stood on the front porch. That's about as long as we could stand going without embracing them. Hugs, kisses, and shared meals resumed. They were careful about their bubble, and we were careful about ours…reasonable, rational, and unafraid.


When masks were mandated, Lori and I honored the request. When we went to the store, and someone wasn't wearing a mask, we kept our mouths shut and minded our own business. Our sole sphere of responsibility rested with ourselves. And it still does. People are free to do what they think is best for themselves and their families. That is always a good thing.


A key Biblical principle has guided my wife and I throughout this pandemic. We see it reflected in three key places:

* Deuteronomy 31:8 - "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”


* 1 John 4:18 - "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."


* John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."


Lori and I try to live out of the proposition that proportionate fear is not the problem…it is part of the solution. In other words, we need to trust the promise of God's sovereignty more than we believe our fear. Life is about risk. It's important to minimize certain risks by being risk-averse. That seems reasonable. We know the risk of driving a car, so we wear seatbelts, etc. That doesn't mean we fear car accidents so much that we rarely, if ever, leave the house. No matter what unfolds, I remember the line from the great hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God":


"The Body They May Kill: God's Truth Abideth Still; His Kingdom is

Forever."


As we move into the second half of 2021, we know three important truths:

1. Things weren't as disastrous as some thought they'd be;


2. Things weren't as harmless as some thought they'd be;


3. No matter what happens, God is sovereign over all of life and He has already secured our eternity.


That is a reality we can move into all the time.


With Much Love and Affection,


Richard


And I didn't forget your Moment of Spurgeon:


My brethren, what a discovery was that when we learned the secret that

we were to be saved not by what we were or were to be; but, saved by

what Christ had done for us! The simplicity of the cross is the grandest of

all revelations.

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