Easter

Hope in the Chaos
By Ron Otto
Lincoln Christian Church

 

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[March 30, 2020]  Should Christians get the same panic as non-Christians? Satan loves anxiety. Satan loves fear. I have an irrational phobia: Snakes! I mean I really, REALLY, donít like snakes. Itís just another way Indiana Jones and I are so much alike. My wifeís phobia? Spiders!

Sheíll wreck a car if she sees a spider on the dashboard. Irrational? Of course!

However, not all fears are irrational now are they? What if I catch the coronavirus? What if Iím quarantined for weeks? What if the market loses too much of my retirement? What if I lose my job?

How will I survive on unemployment? I wouldnít consider those irrational. Those are real fears! What about the fear of dying? Should Christians fear death? No! Jesusí resurrection removes that fear! Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never really die. Do you believe this?Ē (John 11:25-26)

This is our faith! Jesus beat death! And anyone connected to him will also beat death. His victory is our victory. Christians donít fear this.

Ancient Roman laws dictated the dead could not be buried inside city walls. The living were afraid of the dead. Seeking to separate death as far away as possible, they made cities of the dead, far out and away from them. But then along came Christians; people who didnít fear death. They changed the way death was treated. They even buried their dead right on church grounds. Sometimes, even burying well-loved pastors right under the floor of the church. This way, Sunday worship was still worshipping with their departed because they believed they were already alive and with Jesus. Because early Christians were convinced the resurrection would happen, they didnít fear death.

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We can be the same today. We have the same hope! The same promises! The same faith! Our favorite Psalm says, ďEven though I walkthrough the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.Ē(Psalm 23)
Jesus asked, ďDo you believe this?Ē Of course you do! So what should we Christians be doing during this time of virus fears? First, pray! Pray for those who are sick or caught up in the chaos. Pray because it matters. Pray because it changes things. Second, support and encourage those living around you. Ask your neighbors if they are alright and if they need anything. And then third, serve! Make a run to the store for someone if they need you.

Back when plagues hit the Ancient Roman world; some of those plague fatality rates were as high as 90%.

People would run from the cities and isolate themselves from the sick, even sick family members sometimes, even sick children were abandoned. Can you imagine? But Christians stayed. And Christians served. And Christians comforted. And Christians cared for the sick and dying; and yes, sometimes even to their own peril. Why? Christians didnít fear death! We still donít fear death! We are people of the resurrection and Jesusí victory is our victory and thatís why Christians donít panic.

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