In His Steps
RON HAMILTON, CCCC CONFERENCE MINISTER
The response to the coronavirus pandemic has severely limited our ability to do ministry. “Stay at home” orders have shut down public gatherings, moving most of our meetings to online programs. Believers are isolated from one another and regular pastoral care ministry is severely limited.
The teaching of 1 Peter 2 provides some helpful teaching on how we should respond.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Our cooperation in these times is a testimony of our trust in God and our concern for the welfare of others. Even more, it reflects the sacrificial obedience of Jesus. Peter continues this teaching as he speaks to slaves who are unjustly treated, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21).”
Our obedience to the guidance of our leaders, even if we don’t like it or agree with every part of it, provides an opportunity to reflect the love and grace of our Lord Jesus.
22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:22-25)
I pray for God’s work in this tumultuous time and trust for the end of the pandemic. In the meantime, I trust that we will look like Jesus in our response.