Eric Doucet Pastor, Texas Avenue Baptist Church
Esther 4:14 (KJV) For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
BY GOD’S DESIGN
Crises, tribulations, difficulties, hard times, plagues, pestilences, persecutions…these are not new words. They have been part of the human vocabulary since sin entered the world. In addition, sin invited death and other miseries to the party, which resulted in the adversity, affliction, and suffering humans have experienced since Adam and Eve’s sin against God in the Garden.
Yet, we are alive at this time, during this pandemic, facing these difficulties, in our respective communities. That is no accident. It is not by chance we are alive today. We are alive today, living in these communities and with members of our churches because of the sovereignty of God. We could have been born at any other time and in any other country, but God chose this day, this hour, and this place for us. We have been selected by God “for such a time as this.”
Not only have we been selected by God, we have been equipped by God “for such a time as this.” Who else but the church of Jesus Christ is equipped to provide real help and real hope during these times? Who else but the church of Jesus Christ is equipped with a message that can provide peace that passes all understanding? Who else but the church of Jesus Christ is prepared to give their lives, if necessary, in the service of others? God has equipped His church “for such a time as this.”
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
Church, according to Jesus, we are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14–16 (KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Jesus didn’t light us to hide us, but to enable us to give light to those around us. Jesus put us in a unique position (like a candle on a lampstand) to provide light for those around us. We are here for such a time as this, for this dark hour in man’s history, to let our light shine bright before men so God can be glorified.
STAY ON MISSION
This pandemic (with the resulting shelter-in-place orders) has the potential to cause us to focus only on our situation, our health, our food supplies, etc. Yet, the Lord’s command to let our light shine before men compels us to stay focused on others. Moreover, Jesus didn’t rescind, revoke, or repeal the Great Commandment (Matt 22:36-40) or the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) due to COVID-19.
The reason for this message is to encourage churches to stay on mission; to encourage us to move on from the initial shock and confusion of the last couple of weeks and be proactive in our response to this crisis. Let’s remember we serve a risen Savior, the Son of God, the One who conquered sin and death for us. Let’s remember our risen Savior lives in and empowers His church to do His will. Let’s be bold and let’s be courageous in our response to this crisis. Let’s be the church of Jesus Christ!