The Power of the Pandemic: A Personal Exercise

posted on November 04

The Power of the Pandemic: A Personal Exercise

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.”  - Matthew 28:18

In my many years of studying what we call “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20), I have only just now noticed that that Jesus’ words “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” is a complete sentence. With a period. Period. How often have we not paused there, taken a deep breath, and given thanks?
Sometimes we just move right on, to the next sentence with the “GO” in it. (We love the GO, don’t we?) But let us rest for just a moment in the sentence about Jesus’ authority. In the context of his Ascension into heaven, he is “seen off” by his closest followers. They worship, and truly enough, “some doubted.” (Matthew 28:17) This will always be true, I suppose. But to our doubt, he speaks with the strength of authority. He lets us know that he has authority, both in and above history, “all authority in heaven and on earth.” That is immensely good news, especially when we are living through what we have come to call “unprecedented times.”
I offer three questions that you might use as a personal exercise during November, which is traditionally for us a season of gratitude. They are reflective questions, and I think they are best approached in the quiet of your time with God. (One of our pastors uses the phrase TAG, which I like very much – Time Alone with God) Here are three questions to consider in your spirit, and perhaps worth a journal entry or three:

  1. What has the pandemic TAKEN AWAY from you?
  2. What has the pandemic NOT taken away from you?
  3. What has the pandemic OFFERED you?

When I did this exercise, I had three pretty full lists. But I was surprised at the volume of items I could honestly list for #2 and #3. It gave me an unexpected measure of gratitude.
It has also given me the opportunity to and interest in examining the scriptures for more places in which I can see God at work in human history, God claiming not only God’s authority but also God’s unending love for all creation. What are some other scriptures that come to your mind when you think about the strong power and persistent love of God?
As you move through November, with its many activities both in your church and in your home, I encourage you to take some time with these three questions, and know that you are loved with a strength and a passion that is beyond anything we can imagine. Period.

Rev. Bev Coppley
District Superintendent

The Power of the Pandemic A Personal Exercise