In it, Not of it - A New Opportunity

Posted by donna on May 6, 2020

Our world has changed. Our understanding of “normal” has been radically shaken in a way that most of us never imagined apart from world conspiracy theorists and bizarre movie plots! The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about much anxiety, confusion and perhaps even fear of what the future holds. Will we ever get back to normal and what will normal look like?

may blog.jpgI imagine the early disciples of Jesus had some similar feelings. When Jesus came there was great joy.  The long-awaited Messiah had finally been revealed. Many followed Him. Then, came talk of betrayal, rejection, death, and resurrection. Would Jesus restore the kingdom to Israel? They hoped so, they anticipated it. Yet, a roller-coaster rise and fall of emotions began. There was a betrayal, a denial, a crucifixion. All hope was lost, or was it? Resurrection came, hope was renewed. There was great joy and a powerful movement of God arose! The Holy Spirit was poured out as many thousands were saved, many were healed, and great signs were done. This might work out after all; things were looking better.

Just when things were looking up, opposition began, and a martyrdom took place.  After giving a powerful public testimony, Stephen gave his life. Persecution arose and many believers were scattered as they were run out of Jerusalem and the surrounding area.  Many were hunted down by religious fanatics, arrested, imprisoned, even murdered! “Normal” had been radically changed. Fear, anxiety and confusion would be, or should have been, the focus.

Yet Acts 8:4 tells us; “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.” Those early disciples recognized a new opportunity. As they were being persecuted, scattered, running for their lives, they saw a new opportunity to preach the Word with boldness, despite the loss of “normal.”

As we think about our pandemic world with social, physical distancing, closed businesses, cancelled school, economic downturns, and a return to “normal” that will be very different than we understand normal to be, there is hope. There is great hope as there is new opportunity to preach the Word with boldness and see lives transformed by the power of the Gospel.

Many are open to hearing the Word. Many are searching for answers that give hope and we have the answer! We have the message of hope – the Gospel! In the midst of suffering and persecution the apostle Paul asked prayer for boldness to speak the Word; “and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20).

May that be our prayer today. Boldness to speak the Gospel as we have opportunity. COVID-19 gives us a new opportunity to speak to those who have no hope, to those who are anxious and fearful. It is a message of hope. We have the vaccine that can change and transform. Let us use it often, with boldness!

As you go, preach the Word with boldness!

Rev. Bill Allan

Bill Allan first name.PNG
AGC President

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