“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” – 1 Corinthians 15:21
Ever since I can remember, watch night services at our church always included the watchman. Drawing near to midnight, the pastor, who was my late father, would pause from his sermon to ask the time of the night, to which the watchman would reply, “The night cometh and also the day.” In minutes thereafter, the old year, whatever, would be gone. He has since gone to his reward, but the custom continues.
And so it was December 31 of 2019, the question was once again raised to the watchman nearing midnight, and during this time my spirit raced to Times Square in New York where thousands were gathered and millions watched on television as the ceremonial ball dropped, announcing a New Year. Wow! What a time of jubilation, felicitation and salutation.
I thought of how this year, 2020 would be like none other and compared it to the optician’s result to a patient – perfect vision.
Then, in a few short months, out of nowhere a virus was found in Wuhan, China, a city where many Bahamians are students. This virus, at first called corona, because of its crown-like structure and also the name given to a circular chandelier in a church, developed into a pandemic and the world was “sucked” into new rules and regulations; the church being no exception.
I have been to the Vatican three times. Can you imagine St. Peter’s Square empty and no sign of human movement anywhere in sight? Why, not in my wildest dreams did I fathom the streets of New Providence empty and clean of human and vehicular traffic!
So, to my text for today as I share the power of one. When God created this world with all of its beauty and treasures and animals, he then made man and told him that he had dominion over all that was created. However, he was not to touch a certain fruit of a tree. Because of one man’s disobedience, Adam, sin came into the world. Should we say the first pandemic was sin coupled with death? No pandemic is void of death, and in abundance.
God had compassion on man’s lost condition and sent his only son into the world to redeem it. Those who believe in him and accept him as Lord and savior would be spared from eternal damnation and be received into life eternal.
And here in the midst of the social distancing, lockdowns, curfews, do’s and don’ts associated with COVID-19, we have one man, a policeman, placing his knee on the neck of another man, thus shutting off the air to keep him alive. And because of one man’s death – we call him by name and not by nature, George Floyd – the whole world has been thrown into protest after protest demanding justice, completely ignoring the do’s and don’ts of the pandemic.
The Apostle Paul in the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians declares the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yes, the corona pandemic has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of lives throughout this global village, but look at the time we were given to make wrong right; forgive and be forgiven; renew family ties and strengthen the family structure by being true parents to our children; confess our many sins and return to the God of our salvation; become better leaders in all areas of national, social and religious areas; clean our environments and truly become our brother’s keepers.
Because of coronavirus, we should be resolved to become better and not bitter; loving and not hateful; meek and not arrogant; honest and not deceiving; peaceful and not spiteful; giving and not grabbing; thankful and not complaining; righteous and not wicked; upright and not conniving.
Yes, William Cowper, between 1731 and 1800, you said it well: “God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. He plants his footsteps in the deep and rides upon the storm. You fearful saints, take fresh courage. The clouds you dread are ‘big with mercy’, and shall break in blessings on your head. His purposes will ripen fast unfolding every hour; the bud may have a bitter taste but sweet will be the flower.”
Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan his work in vain. God is his own interpreter, and he will make it plain. Stand by and watch and wait for God – he is at work.
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