Dear Prairie Green Church of Christ Members and Friends,
Well, brothers and sisters, it looks like no services in the building again tomorrow, and, barring something unforeseen, for the rest of the month. A few weeks ago, I had been thinking and praying for our churches to be open on Easter. Theologically, every Sunday is the Lord’s Day when we celebrate that God raised Jesus from the dead, but in our culture, Easter is the one time I can point to every single calendar and say, “Behold, he is not here, he has risen!” I had dreams of the churches of this nation filled with smiling faces singing, “Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes!” I recalled what that ancient Eusebius wrote about when the great persecution of Diocletian came to an end: the church houses were thronged with worshippers as the pagans looked on in amazement. That day may yet come for us.
Then the President said he wished the churches could be filled and the issue became political. And of course, the reality of the deadliness of this virus and the measures we must take, make church on Easter, even Orthodox Easter (a week later), an impossibility. But I also latched on to something a reporter said when President Trump was talking about church on Easter. “It would be like a national resurrection.” But that’s not what we need. On Easter, we don’t need, “America is alive again.” What we need, and the whole world needs is “Jesus is still alive.” I read a blogger who commented something about “We don’t need churches filled with Americans; we need churches filled with repentant Americans.” And that’s right; if we keep praying for things to turn back to normal--well there’s a lot about our “normal” that goes against the word of God. To use some historical-theological terms, I would rather see Revival (the consecration of Christians to greater faithfulness to God) followed by Awakening (the non-religious turning to God).
I often pray to God a prayer like this “God, let my kids grow up to be healthy, happy, and successful, but even if they can be none of those things, let them be totally devoted to you.” We should pray that for all Christians, for all people, as well as our kids and grandkids. If the Lord tarries, I want my great-great grandchildren to be able to ask Alexa, “What came after the Coronavirus,” and for her to say, “The Greatest Awakening.”
In the meantime, we wait.
I want to continue to encourage everyone during this time:
Finally, if you need ANYTHING please let me know. If there is any way I can help, I will. My phone number is 217-918-2140 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am praying for all of you! On a personal note, I am continuing teaching at Hoopeston Area Middle School as the long term Science sub, now working remotely. Krystle and the kids are doing well and send their love. Lord willing, we will all see each other soon!
Pray For Me,