By Michael Patrick, Ph.D.
In concert with the work of a viral epidemiologist and statistician in Canada, Dr. Kevin Craib, I’ve studied and written frequently this year about the spread of Covid-19.
The most significant and lasting damage to our nation was not another dreaded seasonal virus, but the results of fear. Fear has claimed lives and altered our futures. It has sparked troubles that will not go away anytime soon.
To comprehend what is coming in America in the remainder of 2020 and into next year, let’s consider first our responsibilities and preparation in the church.
Recently, I heard someone talk prophetically about a coming “winepress” for the church in America. We, as Christ’s models of sacrifice and redemption in the world, will be pressed individually and collectively. The coming troubles are going to sift everything in America and in the church.
I encourage you to consider the application of these words from Jeremiah for the church.
“Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.”
“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:12-14
Whether you are Republican or Democrat, the social, moral and political clashes and darkness will deepen. We can expect spikes in violence and lawlessness in the streets, in our financial structures, in our cities, and in world conflicts involving America.
Men’s hearts will fail them for fear. Our responsibility is to minister with hope to others in the midst of national chaos that we’ve not seen in decades.
Too many of our churches are like broken cisterns, unable to minister in the midst of the chaos. To be ready as a church, we must embrace a transforming purity. Otherwise we are only broken pitchers, unable to contain living water to pour out for others.
What is at stake is not simply an election between Republicans and Democrats, who once debated how to fix our mistakes and failures in public policy. Whether Republican and Democrat, this next election is no longer about political fixes. The recent conflicts in the public arena are about revolutionizing and remaking America into a nation that we’ve never known. There will be no conciliatory language—no search for a middle ground—only bellicose demands. If the present evidence holds true, violent upheaval is inevitable, especially in the coming November elections.
If you do not look at these circumstances with eyes of faith in our unique calling as Christians in our communities, you may succumb to fear, anxiety, and depression.
I encourage you to let God sift your own life and priorities. Prepare your armor and your spirit for what is coming. Be prepared to minister to your friends, your family, and in your community with an encouraging life that is a living message of transforming hope and redemption.