Several years ago, I picked up a book from a church who was cleaning out old books from their library. The Christian History Devotional by J. Stephen Lang caught my eye because I have always been interested in history. Until recently, it sat on a shelf at home amongst my plethora of other books.
I finally pulled it from my collection a few months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the daily devotions that have helped me learn more about my “spiritual family.” The people written about in this book are part of our rich Christian heritage, some I am familiar with but so many more who are new to me!
The contents of this book have been both enlightening and inspiring, to say the least. As I read about the early Christians in Rome, explorers in the 1600’s, musical composers in the 1700’s, missionaries in the 1800’s, just to name a few, I gain a new appreciation for the saints of the past.
The influence these people had on their society was sometimes very great, while still others had little impact until after their deaths.
Their stories of great faith and strong convictions are quite humbling. Many of them died because of their devotion to Christ. What bravery and boldness they possessed!
The countless stories I have read over the past several months have got me thinking about the current situation of our world. The global pandemic of the Coronavirus has turned our world upside down. The impact it is having has been described as “unprecedented” in our current society.
The fast spread of this virus has wreaked havoc on all of our daily lives. Life as we knew it several weeks ago has changed for all of us in many ways. Some of us have suffered great losses (jobs, steady income, the inability to visit our loved ones, cancellations of big events, etc), while all of us have been forced to live a new “digital life” and a “life at 6 feet.”
I think it is an accurate assumption that this pandemic will definitely be included in the history books.
I am sure many statistics and stories will be included in the pages. What I wonder about, however, is if a certain people group will be mentioned throughout the data – evangelical Christians. Why am I wondering such a thing, you might ask?
I am wondering if evangelical Christians will be included in the account of the global pandemic because of the profound, positive impact we had during that time, which leads me to even more questions.
Did we share the love and compassion of Jesus in such a way that the world couldn’t help but notice? Did we share the hope we have in our Savior, even in the midst of a global crisis? Did we reach out to the poor, widows, orphan, and destitute not for our own glory but for the glory of our Father in Heaven? Did we communicate peace instead of fear? Were many new people brought to the saving knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ?
Did we live the words of Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Did we grow in our own faith during this time? I could go on!
I hope that Christians rise to the occasion during this time and truly let our light shine! Would the words of 1 Corinthians 9:16 – “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” – be our heart’s cry? Would we be “contagious Christians”, instead of the spread of the virus? Would we see an “unprecedented” spread of the Good News?
I want to be included in the history books as a group of people who selflessly cared for our world, not for our own gain but for the honor and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Will we be God’s instruments of peace and compassion?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to think that the generations to come would see us as crucial members of their “spiritual family”? Only time will tell! I pray we are all up for the challenge! Who’s with me?