We certainly live in some trying times. As you look around, it’s hard to tell if people are using sanitizer or wringing their hands over COVID-19! At this writing, the death toll from the virus is over 130,000 in the U.S. and the governor of Kentucky has just issued a mandate that we must now wear masks when out in public.
Along with the health concerns, the nation’s economy has taken a huge hit because of the virus. Many have lost their jobs, some permanently, and we all know people who have lost income because of this pandemic.
We can usually turn to sports for a much-needed diversion during times of crisis, but most spectator sports have seen their seasons postponed or cancelled. The proposed restart of the NBA and major league baseball seasons are both in jeopardy, as is the start of college football, due to an increasing number of people testing positive for the virus.
Add to this the public unrest that has sprung up in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and you have a nation that is in turmoil and people who are looking for answers.
Many people are offering their advice about what America needs. Allow me to weigh in on that subject. What America needs most is the church at its best. We are witnesses to the world about the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. God has given us the power to succeed in our mission to spread the word about Jesus. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…” It is time for every man, woman and young person who follows Jesus to rise up and use the power given us to boldly speak the truth!
The early church continued the healing ministry of Jesus. For example, Peter healed a lame beggar in Acts 3:1-10, and this action gave the apostles an opportunity to preach the gospel.
There are many today who are sick. Some are physically sick; others have mental, emotional or spiritual illnesses. We may not be able to perform the miraculous healings that Jesus and the apostles did, but we must show our concern for the sick. We must be willing to pray for them and with them. We must be willing to minister to their needs. And as we do this, we must constantly be taking advantage of the opportunities that open up to preach the good news about salvation through Jesus! Colossians 4:5 says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”
Concerning the racial tension in America, again it is the church that must lead the way. The early church combined Jews and Gentiles in the same congregations. These two groups had their own share of serious conflicts, but they all considered themselves brothers and sisters in Christ once they were saved. The church must set the example for racial reconciliation and social justice.
I said it once and I’ll say it again—what America needs most is the church at its best!