Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases –Psalm 103:2-4
According to etymology online, the word disease originated in the 14th century. Back then it meant “to make uneasy; inflict pain”. So, the opposite of ease.
Nowadays we think in terms of pathogens and viruses, but lately I see signs of dis-ease everywhere I look: Uneasy people, feeling pain.
- Stir-crazy children just longing to socialize.
- Stir-crazy parents, just longing to let their children socialize.
- Lonely folks without the technology to stay in touch.
- Outraged conspiracy theorists, latching on to dubious facts that fit their feelings of oppression.
- Outraged rule followers, shocked to find themselves the only one wearing a mask at the grocery store.
- Finger pointers. Blame layers. Meme sharers.
- Even the folks that keep their heads down, raise their kids, grill in the backyard, and struggle to bide their time.
Everybody’s feeling uneasy. Everybody’s feeling some pain. And I didn’t even add all the doctors and nurses and front-line workers who risk their very lives everyday.
Not everybody gets the disease, but everybody gets the dis-ease.
Where do we turn? From whence comes our help? Well, if you’ve got symptoms of the virus, get to the doctor pronto. But if your symptoms are a reeling head and a stone in your gut, get to church.
Go to Church, my friends! When have more people been in need of some revival? Where else is there a promise of Good News? Who is ready to help, no questions asked?
The Church. Maybe not every church, but most of them.
We, the Church, are in the business of curing dis-ease. Yes! When Jesus sent out his disciples into the streets, they were filled with the power to cure dis-ease! When the churches in your town take to Facebook or Youtube with a word of comfort, passion, and service, they are rejecting the forces of dis-ease that inflict our world!
Now, let’s take it down a couple notches. Because, you know, there certainly are some things our churches need to be uneasy about these days. Racism did not disappear when Covid appeared. Economic disparity was not washed away with the arrival of coronavirus. The hypocrisy all-too-often present in our worshipping communities has not suddenly evaporated just because we face this outward threat. These are symptoms of sickness that have not gone away.
And still! Still we preach the Gospel! The story of a man named Jesus who came to convict and to comfort all at the same time. Right now, our world needs a balm for its dis-ease, and we are uniquely qualified to offer it.
WE ARE THE CENTER FOR DIS-EASE CONTROL!!!
- To the stir-crazy, we offer room to grow.
- To the lonely, we call and remind them they have been called.
- To the conspiracy theorists, we pull back the curtain on who is REALLY in charge.
- To the outraged, we offer deep breaths of healing prayer.
- To the finger pointers, we model what a helping hand looks like.
- To those biding their time, we remind them what is eternal.
If, a year ago I were to tell you that all the churches would launch a singular initiative to take to the internet, reach out to their communities, and pull together in a seldom seen show of faith, you might have laughed, especially when I told you our buildings were all empty.
It’s good to know that in this time of dis-ease, the Church isn’t suffering…
Have a great week,