John Cheek ponders on the coronavirus
At the beginning of 2020, I was chatting with a Baptist Minister from Lancashire. She was keen to tell me about how, when she first took up her position at her church, she closed down all the church activities, apart from the Sunday morning service, for at least six months and instead called upon her congregation to seek the face of the Lord, about the future. Her church was now, only just starting to have other activities, again. However, she was feeling excited. The new things that were being launched felt right and moreover, were birthed in prayer.
At the time of writing, things seem to be changing fast. At the time of writing, everyone seems to have an opinion on what the 'real' meaning behind the Corona Virus is.
The shock, in the United Kingdom, of the government announcements on Monday, 16th and Monday, 23rd March, not only led to everyone talking about just one thing, but it also marked the realisation that life would undoubtedly change for all of us. Whilst he didn't actually use the word, in affect the Prime Minister declared a 'lockdown' in this country.
To me, it was reminiscent of the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana, the aftermath of the events of the 11th September 2001 and also, what it was like to live through the 'Winter of Discontent' of 1978-79. The second wave of energy strikes in that decade accompanied much other industrial action and, as a little boy, it just felt as if everything was slowing down in life. During one brief period, everyone had to contend with power cuts which we would expect every night at 9.00pm and the power would not be restored for several hours. In the dark and cold, my local hospital in Southend would continue work by way of power from an Emergency Generator.
Whilst it hasn't been quite as dramatic as that, the command to stay at home, indefinitely, has felt like an extended break, at home, for many people. Only when we switch on the news, are we reminded of the real drama and the silent, invisible enemy.
Yes, we can say that actually, slowing down and not having to always be a part of a rat-race somewhere, is proving to be an unexpected blessing - and something that we knew, really, all along. However, how many of us Christians will return to the rat-race of our choosing, when all this is over? How many of us will conveniently forget our neighbours, once again, and instead start chasing after clothes, possessions and three foreign holidays each year, when Covid-19 finally becomes merely a memory?
On 19th April, 2019, Lisa Tierney from the north-west of England, had a prophecy published in the public realm. It now appears that it may well have been referring to Covid-19. Now, all prophecies should be weighed carefully, not just taken-as-read. In the original prophecy, a multi-coloured crown is clearly mentioned. The words Corona Virus basically mean, 'crown' virus. Lisa believes that she was shown the multi-coloured crown, and that the Lord was telling her, that the jewels within it, are His people. A royal crown? Certainly, God's people seem to be given amble opportunities to serve, during these unprecedented times - in it's service of the sick, the poor and the vulnerable, the church may well go on to be supernaturally-crowned with an invisible, royal crown.
Lisa believes that she heard the voice of the Lord: "MY LIGHT SHINES THE WAY BELOVED! It dispels the Darkness, which flees before it!" It's interesting, that apparently, Covid-19 is killed by light-exposure. As you go about serving the vulnerable, remember that light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
Lots of things have been said about this period in history, already. Some have claimed that it's God's judgement on this wicked generation; I don't know. Others have argued that the reason why New York has been the worst-affected part of America at the moment, is because Covid-19 is God's judgement and punishment upon a State which has legalised abortion right-up-to-term, including infanticide. Like I say, all prophecy should be weighed, carefully.
I'm not God and I don't claim to know the mind of God. During the prophecy, Lisa believes that the Lord emphasised the Hebrew word 'pey', to her, a two-fold word. "Pey" firstly speaks of the effect of speech and written words, including the Word of God. Secondly, it speaks of the connection between repentance/salvation and the mouth.
In these dark times, where much fear abounds and much conjecture is being reported in newspapers and on television and radio, the people of God could do worse, than to watch our mouths and speak words of life, wherever possible. That goes for me, as much as anyone. A few months on, from having been told of how one church decided to close and seek the will of God instead, I'm currently aware of nearly every church in Britain and the rest of the world being closed. Instead of looking to 'prove' that our church can deliver an on-line Sunday morning service, streamed to fill us with 'pride' at our achievement, I argue that we have a God-given opportunity to use the enforced time at home, to seek the face of the Lord and repent of our sins - individually, collectively and nationally.
Then, when we've done that, does our neighbour need any help with anything?The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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