Folks today appreciate the saying of obvious things. In fact, folks today often need the saying of obvious things. So, to state the obvious, I’m no expert on pandemics and viruses. I’m just a junk man.
That said, I can, sometimes, make accurate observations. For example, some think the Kung Flu is nothing more than a flu, and should be responded to accordingly (as in, by not destroying American wealth for a generation). Others think it a pestilence of potentially greater proportion than the 1918 Spanish Flu. For the sake of this article, let’s consider it worse than the Black Death. In doing so, I hope to avoid any false conclusions that my following comments are given because I don’t take this whole thing seriously enough.
So, let’s say that the Wuhan Virus is the Black Death, so severe, so fatal, that families and businesses don’t need government orders to quarantine and shut down. They do so willingly. In such an environment, would we expect any businesses to stay open? Sure.
Hospitals would stay open, right? Hospitals, though home to the riskiest gatherings of all, where congregations of those with the contagion and those with other illnesses and preexisting conditions mix, would stay open, even in the face of such danger, because they provide what is considered a necessary product—medical care for the sick.
Grocery stores would stay open, even if the shopping experience was altered to minimize the risk of Black Death germ cross-pollination. Why? Again, grocery stores, particularly in light of an urbanized America, provide what is considered a necessary product, food for the hungry.
So, even in the case of Black Death, though we would desire to socially distance ourselves to minimize the spread of disease, to flatten curves, we would still want certain gatherings to continue because those gatherings offer greater reward than risk. Hospitals, a gathering for the sick. Grocery stores, a gathering for the hungry. Some gathering, even in the face of Black Death, is necessary.
And, so, it is my contention that church gatherings are also necessary; in fact, they are the most necessary. Though most churches have shut their doors in the face of the present pestilence, I believe it is sound wisdom for saints to continue to gather. When churches meet, the hungry are fed. When churches meet, the sick receive care. And, most significantly, when churches meet, repentance is offered up to the Lord. Repentance, not immunizations and masks, not toilet paper and Purell, is the best response to pestilence, famine, and economic crisis.
2 Chronicles 7:13ff reads, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land…But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
Here in these united States, we face calamity from the hand of God because we have broken covenant with God. Never before has there been more sin in the land. Never before has that sin been more celebrated. And this covenant breaking has come about as salt and light has diminished in the churches. Sodomy, transgenderism, abortion, fruitlessness, covetousness, vainglory, greed, such is the pestilence that most infects our members. Far from a time to not meet, now is the time to meet, to come together in the house of the LORD to confess our sins before him and plead his forgiveness. He is abundantly merciful to hear and forgive his saints, even when sin has long compounded.
The Wuhan Virus and economic recession is here, sent by the Almighty. Will we care only for our bodies with hospitals and grocery stores, or will we also care in the utmost for our souls, keeping the church doors open? Will we receive this hard time for what it is, a call for repentance, an opportunity for the West, even on its death bed, to be healed?