Good morning. Welcome to Nuggets of Hope.
These brief daily reflections are intended to bring hope and encouragement during the COVID-19 crisis.
During these times when self-isolation is being imposed on us to keep us from getting sick, many feel cut off from others. This is hard for all of us. Today I want to look at the key truth that no matter how isolated from others we may feel, those who belong to Jesus are in fact organically connected. We are connected to Jesus and to each other.
In a very well-known passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul wrote these memorable words
For just as the body is one and has many members,
and all the members of the body,
though many, are one body,
so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12 ESV
First of all, we are connected to the whole human family. It’s important to acknowledge this. Scripture affirms that all of us are descended from one original couple. This makes us one family. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. Remembering that we are connected to the whole human family helps us to pray and serve all people – simply because they are made in God’s image as we are.
Secondly, those who belong to Jesus are always connected to Him, no matter the circumstances. I recently re-read a summary of the life of Richard Wurmbrand, a Jew who became a Communist who became a Christian who became a political prisoner of the Romanian Communist government. During his two bouts of imprisonment, together lasting over fifteen years, he spent three years in solitary confinement. It was his relationship with Jesus that kept him sane during those times. He would meditate on the Word of God – large chunks of which he had memorized – and to keep himself sane he composed a sermon each night and preached it to himself. The power of the Word of God kept him connected to Jesus. Our life comes from Him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. We are organically connected to Him by our faith in Him, by the power of His word that sustains us and renews our minds, and by the power of His Spirit living in us.
Thirdly, those who belong to Jesus are also connected to each other. Paul says that we are members of one another. Just last night, Marion and I spent some time in a video chat with two dear friends who are part of our weekly home fellowship and Bible Study group. We can’t meet in person right now so we met through the blessing of technology. I’m looking forward to connecting with the whole group in this way on Thursday evening. But even without technology, the Holy Spirit connects us to everyone who belongs to Jesus. Believers in Wuhan, in South Korea, in Israel, in Pakistan, in Italy – they are our brothers and sisters. We can strengthen one another through prayer.
This is so important. Those who are persecuted for their faith often testify to how much it means to them to know that they are being prayed for. The same is true in the face of this virus, and the fear it brings. Stay connected. Remember that you belong to Jesus. Remember that you belong to the human family, and bring the needs of your neighbours and your leaders before God. Remember that you belong to the Body of Christ. Your brothers and sisters around the world are praying for you, and you can also pray for them. There may be other practical acts of service that we can perform as well, but whatever our situation, we can always pray, and meditate on His living word, and in so doing we stay connected to Jesus and to each other.
God bless you.