3 Lessons From The Linens

Easter is my favorite day of the year.

It’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

It’s the day we celebrate Jesus setting in motion the reversal of the curse and its corrupting influence on creation.

On Easter, I usually go back and read the Gospel account of the resurrection.

This morning was no different.

When I did, I read this:

“Simon Peter therefore also came following him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth, which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled ups in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed.” John 20:6-8. Continue reading

Trusting v. Testing the Lord in the Pandemic

I have some very close Christian friends who are still gathering with others and going about their business despite shelter-in-place orders.

They tell me they just do what they normally do, trusting God he won’t allow them to get COVID-19.

They think how much you can do in the pandemic depends on how much faith you have.

I’m a product of the so-called Faith Movement, so I’m not unsympathetic to their views, but I’m afraid my friends are misguided, as perhaps others are as well.

In fact, I read a story the other day about a church in New Orleans that is still meeting despite the shelter-in-place orders.

Are such people models of faith, or ignorance, or something else? I actually don’t think this one is too difficult to sort out. Continue reading

Christian Conduct in a Pandemic

I’ve already written here on a what I believe to be the big-picture Kingdom perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic.

But I’ve been distressed by the laissez faire attitude many Christians have displayed toward the pandemic and the possibility of contracting the virus.

I chalk much of this up to ignorance and the rest to selfishness.

The question is this: What does King Jesus require of Christians in the midst of the current pandemic?

Of course, there is not a one-size-fits all answer. Some of my Christian friends are doctors and nurses working in the healthcare industry. They will likely be asked by Jesus to make take a much bigger risk and make a bigger sacrifice than others.

For the rest of us, though, I think there are at least three principles that should guide our conduct during the pandemic: Continue reading

A Kingdom Perspective on the Pandemic–Part 2

Pain is an unwelcome friend.

Nobody likes it when it shows up, but it often is the alarm that tells us something else is wrong.

Without it we may not got to the doctor before it is too late, and we wouldn’t know to pull our hand out of the fire, or to stop running on a bad knee.

Pandemics are a sharp, undeniable pain we cannot ignore.

They are an alarm for a problem we have learned to live with in ordinary times.

Between 250,000 and 500,000 people around the world die each year from the flu, but somehow we have decided that is acceptable. The sad reality is that the pain hasn’t been bad enough yet to focus the full attention of humanity on solving the problem of this part of nature’s rebellion against God and man. Continue reading

A Kingdom Perspective on the Pandemic–Part I

Christians have responded in different ways to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some have made their response an issue of faith, as if Christians full of faith have never died from an illness.

Others have simply adopted the current political opinion of their preferred political part, contending on side the pandemic is a crises overblown by the media to attack President Trump, or on the other that it is a disaster brought on by President Trump’s incompetence.

None of these response are helpful, and none are particularly Christian. Continue reading