How was your life in early January? We had severe cold weather and something like a blizzard. Cars didn’t like to start, and I spend part of my working days outside.
Yes, it was cold.
My required COVID mask made my breath vent up to my forehead, and the moisture froze to my hair. I had the strange problem of combing ice out of my hair, all day. And yes, I had to wear a mask to protect from COVID, outside, at minus thirty, with only one other person in the area. That other person also had to wear a mask.
It gets ridiculous, and we have been warned by the medical authorities that we will all be infected with the Omicron variant of COVID; we just don’t know when that will happen. Where I live, we are no longer told that vaccines will prevent COVID. The new motivator is that vaccines may reduce the severity of symptoms when we do get sick, and we will get sick.
The goalposts are shifting.
I could rant about COVID, vaccines, and bad management of public health, but that is already happening, without my help. People everywhere are complaining, and demonstrating in the street against restrictions.
I’m writing as a Christian, and it is easy to disrespect the people in charge. They seem to be making decisions in panic mode. For anyone who feels like rioting in the streets, the Bible gives us a different direction:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13: 1)
Those instructions are clear, even when I comb ice out of my hair.
For people like me, the restrictions mean that the church is now on television. We had an online communion service a few weeks ago, and I didn’t have any wine; not even grape juice. I found some tomato juice in the fridge, and I tore off a piece of an English muffin, and then I hurried back to the couch in the living room.
God knows my heart.
I know a missionary who was in Africa, and he couldn’t find juice for a communion service, so he used Jell-O powder. He filled the tiny cups with that ‘juice’ and took them to the outdoor service. He miscalculated in one way; Africans in his area liked to have long church services, and the communion juice was served late in the day. When the people got their cups, they were puzzled by the strange jelly-wine, but they adapted quickly. They each scooped out the strange ‘wine’ with a finger and swallowed it when they were instructed to drink.
We could learn from those African Christians. COVID restrictions are hurting organized religion everywhere, and churches are empty. Things are different now. People like me are searching in the fridge for some new kind of communion wine. Our online church services are a challenge. Did you know that faithfulness can look funny and make us laugh?
This musician deserves a medal. See the man in the background:
And this preacher had a fiery experience. Watch to the end:
Some of us keep the faith, to the best of our abilities.
So, are we losing God, in all the COVID confusion? Can we still believe when our churches are taken away? Are we shallow creatures of habit, or do we still believe in God, with falling trees and flaming clothes?
Three percent of us might have a problem. A survey shows that most believers still believe and will go back to a real church, as soon as possible. Only three percent plan to stay away.
We can be faithful to God, in some ways, but God told us, long ago, that He will not move. God is still with us, through all the COVID restrictions. I hope you find this truth, in these strange times.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)