Our entire world has been stunned by the events surrounding COVID-19. It’s noteworthy that Christmas occurred during China’s outbreak, and now Holy Week is happening as we see the pandemic unfold in neighborhoods around the globe. Christians and non-believers alike are pondering the scope of these seemingly earth-shattering events.
It seems like we have all been forced to think bigger. To learn more about the world beyond the confines of our own four walls, outside our city, state and nation. Followers of Jesus believe that God is the Creator of our entire universe. He makes no mistakes. Ever. He is sovereign. He wasn’t surprised by coronavirus, or by any of the other countless tragedies that humans have faced since Adam and Eve’s fateful choice in the Garden of Eden.
We don’t have easy answers, but we have faith. In the midst of this pandemic, is God calling us to S.T.O.P. for a minute? Here is a creative way to slow down during this Holy Week and reflect on what God is doing in the midst of this storm.
S – Be Still. Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Wait. What? So, I am supposed to be still and know that He is God? To believe that He will be exalted among the nations somehow? Yes. During Holy Week, Jesus asked His disciples to be still with Him and to pray. He simply wants us to acknowledge Him and His presence in our lives and in the world around us.
T – Think Big. Remember how God has worked in the past. Recall how He has turned evil into good before. During Holy Week, there were many times when it seemed like evil had overcome. Genesis 50:20 is a powerful reminder: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”We serve a big God! He can and will work through this evil for His glory and for the good of His people.
O – Observe. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” As a family we have attempted to creatively integrate prayer into our daily routines such as getting dressed, eating and daily chores. For example, our friend Gracia Burnham urged us to look at the labels in our clothes as we get dressed each day. Then we take a minute to pray for our brothers and sisters in the nation where those clothes were made. It just takes a little observation. During Holy Week, Jesus told his disciples to pay close attention because something miraculous was happening! They couldn’t imagine how it was all going to work out that tumultuous week, but in the years to come it became very clear to them and most of them eventually died for their faith. They knew the truth, and they had observed the Messiah first-hand, before and after His death and resurrection. He was the real deal!
P- Praise, Pray and Praise Again. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 prompts us to “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Holy Week is the ideal time to pray and praise and praise again. Several days during this special week provide an opportunity to reflect and meditate on all that Jesus has done for us. His atoning death, His temporary burial and His glorious resurrection all point to His Deity. He alone in history was fully man, fully God in One Person forever. Uniquely able to pay the price for the sin of all humankind forever. That’s really good news! Praise Him this week!