Now is a time for spiritual strength! Now is a time to be fortified with the practices and graces of faith. Now is the time to hold fast to faith, prayer and perseverance. The challenges and troubles we face in this pandemic are real, pressing, and destructive. They are surely tiring and trying us all! We fight not with violence, but with God’s power so that we can withstand, and in time, overcome and defeat this enemy.
As new coronavirus variants quickly spread around the world and start to cause further harm here, I quote what South Carolina’s public health director recently said, “The fight against this deadly virus is far from over. While vaccines are on the way, everyone one of us must recommit to the fight that we are all on the front lines now. We are all in this together.”
We mask and distance, wash, spray and wipe, stay home and make other sacrifices and adjustments so that together we may defeat the deadly virus. The public health measures we are taking up are like the “armor” Ephesians describes for those “on the front lines” of battle. We take these measures and safeguards to help us stand against illness and death. They are the weapons we have in this fight.
I miss being with you in person. I miss the routines and places we all cherish and love. We long to be back together in the sanctuary for worship and fellowship hall for meals and conversation. Unfortunately, we are in a fight for human life—our own and those of one another in the congregation and community. Now is the time to strengthen yourself with the armor of God and take up the shield of faith in order to stand firm. Now is the time to pray for one another, keep alert and persevere. Now is the time to keep up safe practices in order to win this fight for life and health.