The coronavirus continues to impact huge numbers of people around the world. Thankfully, large numbers of uninfected people wisely wear face masks and practice social distancing in order to protect themselves from becoming infected.
Because of the pandemic, New York State presently prohibits large gatherings of people within houses of worship and other places that usually host worship services and related events. In “normal” times, typical churches, synagogues, and mosques host worship services and other gatherings from once a week to several times a week. I suspect most of you reading this already know that.
I hope we, as Christians, diligently strive to safely and legally resume and enhance congregational gatherings to worship God. Governments’ objective in currently prohibiting large gatherings, including worship services, is to limit spread of the coronavirus. That is a good objective. Prior to resuming large worship services and gatherings, leaders and members of church congregations should, with professional medical help, strive to routinely and effectively disinfect their houses of worship. Additionally, they should strive to effectively identify, isolate, and facilitate healing of congregation members and other church attendees who are or become infected by the virus. And all who attend church services should wear face masks, which can protect us from breathing in airborne coronavirus germs exhaled by those infected.
Is all of this possible? All good things are possible through God. Proverbs 3:5-6 states: “Trust in the Lord with thyne heart; and lean not to thyne own understanding…In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” So, we should pray to God for protection, and trust His ability and willingness to direct and enable us people of faith to avoid unnecessary exposure to coronavirus, and to direct infected believers to sources of healing and survival. Simultaneously, we should not test God by risking unnecessary exposure of ourselves to the coronavirus or other infectious germs and illnesses. “Do not put the LORD your God to the test…” — Deuteronomy 6:16
Let’s be more God-centered than coronavirus-centered, but let’s wisely acknowledge the extremely dangerous pandemic exists. And, accordingly, let’s protect ourselves and others from the pandemic. Let’s purposely stay at home as much as pragmatically possible. And when we do leave our homes, let’s consistently wear face-masks and “social distance” as much as possible.
You may be tired of reading and hearing about the coronavirus crisis. But fatigue does not make it go away. So, for now, let’s continue pray, and follow the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines. And let’s seek medical help if and when needed in order to protect or heal ourselves, our families, or others from the corona virus.
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
—Matthew 25:40 New International Version