Coronavirus and the Call to Love

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on March 12, 2020

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: ‘This was their finest hour'" (Winston Churchill).

These were the prophetic words of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the early, dark days of World War II. 

This was their finest hour!

When sickness struck the Roman Empire, the early Church rose to the occasion, cared for those who were sick, established hospitals, and fed the hungry.  It was their finest hour. God's name was glorified in those difficult days and many people came to know the Savior's love through the love Christians showed toward them. 

This was their finest hour!

Could it be that in the future, we as Christians will look back at the COVID 19 pandemic as a "finest hour" for the Church? 

Thankfully the coronavirus is not like the plague of centuries past. Yet the CDC does warn that “older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.”

Out of Love for Others

While there may not be an immediate threat to you, out of love for those who are at higher risk and out of love for our community, we at St. Paul’s want to do all that we can to slow the spread of the virus when it arrives in our community. Now is the time to be prepared since we do not know when it will arrive.

Attached is the article that will appear in the worship folder this weekend explaining St. Paul's plans. I encourage you to read it to understand our rationale for the changes you will experience. 

The Message this Weekend

The message this weekend has the title: "Undefeated by Spiritual Blindness." It is my prayer that, as we study the Old Testament Lesson (read it here) and the Gospel Lesson (read it here), the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to see new spiritual truths as it relates to both the coronavirus and the economic impact that we will all likely experience. 

Closing Prayer

Father in heaven, place your hand of protection over our world as we experience the effects of COVID-19. Protect those whom we love who are at risk from this disease. Grant healing to those who are already infected. Give wisdom and strength to all in our health care system who will be treating those infected. Give us patience as we deal with the efforts to slow the virus' advance. Provide for our daily needs as our nation and our world experience financial convulsions as a result of this disease. If it be your will, miraculously bring this disease to a halt. Most of all, Father, we pray that your name might be glorified as we show love and care for those around us. All this we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

Your brother in prayer,

Pastor Pete


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