We are two years into the COVID-19 pandemic (official WHO declaration was March 11, 2020). This disease continues to pose challenges to our health systems. Its pathogen is disrupting our way of life by frequent and unpredictable mutations that threaten to scuttle our plans for a return to normality.
How we practice our faith, and its works of service is having to change.
Going to church now requires advanced booking, signing in, social distancing, and at times worship without singing.
We who are accustomed to traveling as part of our Christian missionary service have had two years of travel restrictions, with little to assure us that we will return to our customary way of doing things.
A pandemic does not alter God’s plans.
It is an opportunity to focus on core function, to evaluate familiar forms, and discard some activities.
That core function for EMAS Canada is to proclaim God’s love to all the world.1
Our familiar way of doing missions has been traveling teams that provide hands-on healthcare and medical education, as vehicles for demonstrating and, where appropriate, explaining the Christian message.
The Faith Factor:
To the degree that our core function is aligned with God’s overarching purpose, we can boldly rely on His promises. With patient confidence, we know that He is at work, using our lives to work out His eternal plan.
Faith is the conviction that God is utterly reliable, it gives us the resolve to remain loyal to Him even if we do not see the results of our obedience in our lifetime. It also gives us the freedom to trust Him for new, sometimes unfamiliar, ways of service.
People who have faith please God.2 Their lives are powerful on behalf of God for eternity.
One of my favorite examples is the Old Testament covenant of Joseph and his brothers.3
After his death, his people waited and lived through oppressive years of slavery until the hope of divine intervention was seen in contests between Moses and Pharoah. Even during the excitement of the Passover, and the Red Sea crossing, someone kept the bones. Despite the frustration and boredom of the desert years another someone held on to Joseph’s bones until the promised land was settled 400 years later.4
For Bible readers today, Joseph’s faith is proof that God is true to His word.5
The birth of Jesus Christ, our reason for the coming celebratory season of goodwill and hope, was promised by God centuries before it happened. Therefore, there is reason to believe that God will keep His promises to us, just as He did for Joseph and his ancestors.
Joseph believed what God had told his great-grandfather and acted upon it. The familiar way for high-ranking Egyptian leaders was a pyramid. Joseph preferred the promise of God.
May the enjoyment of this Christmas season remind you that God keeps His promises.6
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1. John 3:16
2. Hebrews 11:16
3. Gen 50:22-26
4. Joshua 24:31
5. Hebrews 11:22
6. Zechariah 13:1
All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
Feature image: Photo by Tony Eight Media on Unsplash