Just within the past week, many states, including Indiana and Michigan, issued various stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, and shutdowns in response to COVID-19.
This means our upcoming Michigan traveling meeting is postponed until further notice. We will inform you when it is rescheduled.
Meanwhile, I’ve never been as proud to hear a governor’s speech as I was last Monday when the governor of Indiana broadcast his ordinance.
During the announcement, Governor Eric Holcomb spent a few minutes speaking about the churches in Indiana. He stated that church ministers were essential at this time even saying, “as essential as doctors and nurses.” Wow!
In a pandemic, it is clear that health workers are essential for the physical well-being of people. In a panic with lockdowns, social isolation, uncertainty, and fear, it is less known that faithful workmen are essential for the spiritual strengthening of people.
While many authorities and media are encouraging meditation, new age mindfulness, yoga, distraction by entertainment, and arts and crafts; God’s word rightly divided is most needed in time of personal crisis.
In the Indiana ordinance, “religious entities” are described as an essential function “provided they adhere to the CDC’s guidance on social gatherings.” The governor encouraged churches to continue much needed ministry while social distancing and recording services, which we were already doing.
But this was not the end of it! My chin dropped when I heard from my governor’s mouth that the scripture teaches us that the “church is not a building, but a body.”
I’ve never said “amen” at a political speech before. It was a joyous experience to see the prayers of 1 Tim 2:2 be answered in such a manner.
Certainly there was a bit of political expediency behind the statement, which was intended to comfort the large gatherings that would be reduced by staying home. Nevertheless, sound grace doctrine about the body of Christ was communicated to thousands of Hoosiers in that moment (Phi 1:18).
What peace there is to know grace doctrine, and what an opportunity it affords to communicate the gospel of peace to those stricken with fear, panic, and disquiet.
If you are staying home more often these days, remember that the church is not cancelled because the church is you. Take the opportunity to minister at home the riches of God’s grace.
God’s grace is most glorious precisely in times such as this.
Justin “grace at home again in Indiana” Johnson