As I approach Easter this year, it’s all about perspective.
It seems like the only thing I can find in the news or on social media these days is about COVID-19 (coronavirus). And many days, it seems like it’s all bad news everywhere. I cry out to God, lament, and I don’t have answers; I don’t understand all that is going on in our world.
But at the same time, I have hope in my heart. For tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And most important, for eternity. And my hope is centered on what we celebrate at Easter: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When the women went to the tomb that first Easter morning (as recorded in Matthew 28), they too had been lamenting and crying out to God—Jesus had been crucified. And they were confused.
The angel told them: “He is not here, he has risen just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (Matthew 28:6). The angel both told them and showed them what had happened—and soon after, they saw Jesus, alive, for themselves!
Matthew notes that the women left to tell the disciples with “fear and great joy.” That’s an interesting combination, isn’t it? And it describes how I have been feeling and a lot of the conversations we have been having with CIF’s ministry partners in the past few weeks.
There’s fear and concern and wondering: How long will this last and how bad will it get? How will doing “virtual church” work? How can we adjust our budget and finances at this unprecedented time? What are other churches doing? Is CIF doing OK? How’s my rainy day fund? And so on ….
And there’s great joy as well. New opportunities to minister in ways previously not thought of or not tried. One church that finished a building project the week before they got shut down—in their new building they can do “remote church,” but they couldn’t do that until their project was complete.
A partner thankful for a bit slower time and opportunity to invest in relationships with neighbors, including a non-believing man with serious bone cancer.
A church anxious to start their next back-to-back campaign for a much-needed Christian education and community outreach building. Despite major employers laying off people in their small community, they said, “We’ve learned the importance of having a reserve fund. Even if our offering/income drops, we think we are OK, and we need this building for our ministry.”
You see, the resurrection of Christ brings perspective and a life-giving supply of hope, like the oxygen we need to breathe. Christ’s resurrection has settled eternity for those who put their trust and faith in Him.
Paul tells us in Romans 8 that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. He then goes on to say that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord: not life or death or rulers or things to come or things present or things to come.
Those word seem a little closer these days, but with Christ’s resurrection in view, we can have hope. Yes, ultimately for eternity, but also for these present days filled with challenges.
Is there a conversation of hope and help CIF can have with you? However you are connected to us, we are here to serve you in any way we can.
Please reach out to us, whether for something practical and concrete to help right now or to have a conversation and get perspective about those “what if” questions in your head.
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