Then Came Covid-19

Is this really happening?

Just five months ago we were singing Christmas carols and preparing for the celebration of Christ’s birth and looking forward to time spent with family. 

But in an odd way I was struck by the words to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. 

Lyrics that say “next year all our troubles will be out of sight” and “next year all our troubles will be miles away”. 

It would seem that the song’s author, Hugh Martin, was looking forward to a fresh, new year, where life might be less troubling and burdensome.

The truth is, it didn’t happen and for millions of people around the world an unprecedented silent pandemic scuttled our expectations.

Even as we were preparing for a very Happy 2019 Christmas, in early December Covid-19 was commencing it’s silent invisible death march across the earth.

Who would have thought that the World would be shut down within three months by this deadly disease.

Who would have thought that millions of people would be unemployed?

Who would have thought major cooperations and airlines would fold?

Here we are in May 2020 and the Pandemic is still creeping across the earth.

Our major cities and transport hubs are in ‘lockdown’.

Our streets are quiet and we are not permitted out of our homes.

Our places of Worship are empty and the roar of the crowds in our stadiums are silent.

Will we ever see packed stadiums again?

Will our church buildings be filled again?

Will this phantom like spectral pandemic ever end? 

Our government is trying to give us hope by telling us regularly through the mass media and television “we’ll get through this together”.

This is despite the growing statistics of mental health issues in our homes and the families of our nation.

No I’m not a an alarmist nor a pessimist but I do have a healthy respect for the Word of God.

If the worst comes to the worst, I have the assurance that His grace will be sufficient to see me through!

No, I’m not afraid nor anxious about the future but I am fascinated how the music of my childhood is coming to the fore in my old age.

Songs like “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and the things on earth will grow strangely dim.” 

In fact I feel subliminally excited, because I know what the Bible says about the future and particularly about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days.

If this pandemic can spread so rapidly around the world, just imagine how quickly God’s Spirit can spread out across the nations of the earth as prophesied in Joel 2

However in a strange twist as an old preacher , in my heart I wonder if I have sufficiently prepared my generation and people of faith for this Apocalyptic day?

Questions like, “is this the period of time in history what the Bible calls the time of Jacob’s Trouble?”

Some would argue this has already taken place in history.

The phrase “the time of Jacob’s trouble” is a quote from Jeremiah 30:7 which says, “That day is great, so that none is like it.”

The only time period that fits this description is the period of the Tribulation. It is a time unparalleled in history.

Jesus described the Tribulation using some of the same imagery as Jeremiah.

In Matthew 24:6-8 He stated that the appearance of false christs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes are “the beginning of birth pains.” 

Paul, too, described the Tribulation as birth pains. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

I am beginning inwardly to ask the question now, is this the beginning of those days?

Is this Pandemic what the Bible said would happen?

Looking back over my preaching & pastoring service/calling, I wonder if I prepared the people sufficiently for the future?

No, I’m not about to criticise the modern church and my colleagues in ministry for preaching a “Feel Good or Prosperity Gospel”!

Because if the truth is known I may have succumbed to the pressure also, albeit innocently!

Looking back it would be easy for me to ‘cringe & draw back’ at some of the pronouncements I have made from the pulpit.

I may have preached about a lot of contemporary issues of the day that comforted and encouraged. 

About grace & forgiveness! 

But did I balance it with the thought of one day we all have to stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ?

That we will have to give an account?

You see in hind sight or retrospect its easy to see what I could have done better.

However my thought for today is what should we do now?

*********

Which reminds me of one of the last sermons my dear old father preached.

It may be described as “Old School” by todays culture but it sure made people conscious of SIN and the fear of God.

So here it is to conclude this blog in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, a sermon that needs to be heard.

Here is my 90 year old Dad preaching to a packed Sunday night congregation on a subject you may not hear in the modern church of today.

What will you do in the End?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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