My regular daily office reading has me in the Gospel of Matthew currently and today was Matthew 25.
It is still hard for me to read this passage and not have my upbringing in Bible reading flood my thoughts. In the past I was sure Matthew 24 and 25 were about the “end times” as in: “Are you rapture ready?” They are about the end times… and we are living in those times.
So I reflect on Matthew 25 today in the time of coronoavirus and ask some simple questions for myself and us as the American Church. In a time when I hear so many people saying, “This is a time for the church to BE the church”… and then leave it there without many ideas or examples, I am asking that for myself. Matthew 25 asks some tough questions for evaluation.
In the time of coronavirus added to Lent… we need this examination.
From the parable of the 10 virgins: Have we squandered our resources as the church so in a time of necessity, when the bridegroom comes and asks something of us, we are not ready to respond. This one has been a tough question for me.
From the parable of talents: In this time of great need, have we squandered the abundant resources of the Kingdom so that we are not ready to give back out? Are we in a “hoarding” mentality… or a “generous” mentality?
I think of one of my sons living in Minneapolis. His job goes on so he has to be out. When he is out, he posts on his social media that he will be out so if anyone needs anything, message him. He will be glad to go get it for them and get things to folks in a way that is safe. Out of the limited resources he has, he gives with such an abundant heart. I cry when I see posts from others who were unable to get out but they post pictures of the supplies my son brought to them.
It is tempting to “hunker down”… and stay that way. Forget about everyone else! But the Kingdom calls us to look up… and out… even in tough times like these. We want to be safe, to be sure. But we need the abundance of the Kingdom flowing through us.
We offer our prayers. We offer our resources. We offer our time as we can. There is abundant oil from the Kingdom of God. Make sure we have it resourced properly and are ready to use it.
I am also reminded that we need this time to catch up in our lives because when this quarantine is over… we will be called upon to give a LOT of energy to restart our world. May we find rest IN HIM these days.