Let Your Light Shine in Crisis – Matthew 5:14-16

In times of crisis, and at all times, there are some important things that Christians need to keep in mind. While there are several items that could make that list, here are four to think about this morning.

Let Your Light Shine, Even in a Pandemic

I know that by now, many people are probably getting a little weary of hearing about COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus.   It’s basically all anyone can talk about, and it’s affected all of us in one way or another. Some of us are just missing out on common leisure activities (such as sports being cancelled) but many people are being kept from working, and others are actually being infected, and some have died from this outbreak.

Of course, all of us have differing opinions about the matter, and many of us have reacted in different ways to everything that is happening around us.  In light of all of this, I’d like to offer a few things that those of us who wear the name of Christ should keep in mind.

Be Reasonable. God created us with the ability to reason for ourselves, and He expects us to use that reason (Isaiah 1:18).  When Jesus told his disciples to “be wise as serpents (Matt. 10:16),” surely part of that includes using our own, God-given, good sense as we are dealing with people and situations that arise.   Reasonable people will not be whipped up into hysterics by the things that are going on, but neither will reasonable people just discount everything that is happening as “propaganda.”  God gave you the ability to think and reason for yourself.  Use it!

Be Respectful.  If I’m being perfectly honest, I am becoming increasingly aggravated with some of my brethren on social media who are not shining the light of Jesus into the world with the way they are reacting to these recent events. We are all entitled to our opinions, and even the right to express those opinions.  But nowhere are we given the right to be rude and/or condescending toward other people in the expressing of those opinions.  Love is still kind and is not rude (1 Corinthians 13:4-5) The words of Colossians 4:6 still apply in the 21st century, even when we’re typing of clicking a “share” button.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Col 4:6 ESV)

Be Compassionate. Even as busy as the life of Jesus was, he always took time for compassion.  (see Mark 5:25-34).  A lot of people are suffering in one way or another right now.  Are we prepared to help those who may be put out of work, or who may need food or other supplies that they can’t find in the store right now?  I know we can’t help everyone, but let’s have an open heart to help meet a need when we are able, to do good to all men, and especially those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10)

Trust in God. Above all, trust in God.  That doesn’t mean we should be reckless and not take necessary precautions to protect ourselves, thus putting God to the test (see Matthew 4:6-7).  But don’t forget that He is out refuge and our fortress (Psalm 46).  Don’t forget that God will not forsake his people (Heb. 13:5).  Make sure that whatever happens, you are covered by the blood of Christ, and prepared for that heavenly home.

By the way, all of these things will still be true a month or two from now when COVID-19 is all but forgotten by most people.  These things don’t apply to just one place or time, but are necessary for Christians to remember at all times, so that we may shine the light of the Son into this world.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Mat 5:16 ESV)

A Song of Trust (Psalm 4)

On the First Sunday of each month, the Orangeburg Church of Christ hosts an abbreviated worship service, after which we sing for an extended period of time. On these Sundays, the lessons are shorter than usual sermons. In 2020, these first Sunday lessons are going to focus on passages from the Psalms. This week, we consider a lesson about trust i God from Psalm 4