Christians have a unique story to tell. It is a story large enough to encompass the entirety of history and span the universe, while also being particular enough to uniquely involve the life of every human being. This story is what led the early Church to grow quickly and effectively, even in the face of oppression. More now than in recent memory, it is essential that we tell this story with our whole lives. Our community, country, and world are all looking for a way to not be afraid. They’re longing for a story that offers purpose in the midst of uncertainty. Christians have that story; it is ours to proclaim!
You, University, have worked tirelessly and given of yourselves to bless our community in a time of financial and physical crisis. We give thanks to God for you, and we invite you to continue participating in the mission of building bridges, which hasten the flow of Jesus’ transforming grace into communities of despair and hopelessness. There are several specific ways you can be involved, right here and right now.
We invite those of you who face a lower risk of being debilitated by COVID-19 to donate food and hygiene items via our UShop program. These items have been distributed to organizations, schools, and people in desperate need. We want to be able to substantiate the services provided by the city and schools to make sure no family living in the shadow of our steeple goes hungry or without hope. Additionally, you can serve by sewing masks for people in our community - you can drop those off at the Church as well. You may feel led to give online or mail a check, donating funds to the COVID-19 relief efforts our church is offering. All of these are valuable ways to tell the story of hope and healing in our city.
If you are in an at-risk population due to age or underlying health conditions, then there are other, equally important, ways to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Check-in on your friends and neighbors regularly by phone. Make virtual contact with those who are alone and cut off. Engage in Sunday School classes, Bible studies, and small groups that meet weekly online. These are all essential tools in the fight against loneliness, isolation, and depression, which are the deadly social side effects of this pandemic. If you are aware of someone in our community who is in desperate need (particularly food or grocery needs), then alerting our church staff to this person’s situation can be an incredibly important way to serve. Finally, praying every day and interceding for those on the front lines of this crisis (health care workers, community leaders, delivery and supply personnel, first responders, victims of domestic violence, the poor and marginalized, the list goes on…) is a real and powerful way Christians can partner with God to establish heaven on earth. There is a role for all of us to play!
As we celebrate Easter over the next 40-ish days, raising up our alleluias like bonfires in the darkness, let us be reminded that we are all storytellers, embodying and communicating a narrative to the world. It is up to us what kind of story we want to tell. Like our ancestors did before us, may we boldly and generously live out the story, that the world may know and believe in the resurrection power of God.
Christ is Risen Indeed!