What a strange week it has been. As major sporting leagues and events cancel seasons and championships, as our stores are raided for toilet paper and cleaning supplies, as families hunker down in place for long spring breaks or the end of the school year classroom instruction, it seems there is an eerie doomsday sense of catastrophic anticipation. Normally the adversary is clear and evident during times like this, an attack on America, or a cataclysmic blizzard, or power outages and storm damage after a major twister or hurricane. But this time the enemy is invisible and his impact mysterious. We are told there is a virus and that we need to be well defended with good hygiene and social distancing practices.
Yesterday, Sunday, many of our local churches decided the loving, most responsible thing to do was cancel services for a safer, virus-free alternative of online worship. We, at His Way, joined this practice by getting our residents together for an online streamed service.
As I sat through this service, I noticed the parallels between our current, imminent enemy (a virus) and our constant spiritual enemy, Satan. One that prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8) yet is invisible. His roar silent and his fangs unseen. As spiritual people, trapped in earthly bodies, our senses have a difficult time detecting the spiritual invaders to which we are ever vulnerable. We, at times, create tangible enemies to focus our fight, yet we are warned by the Apostle Paul that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12). So how do we go about defending ourselves against such invisible maliciousness?
The same way we are now. We practice good spiritual hygiene. We distance ourselves against infectious influences and keep ourselves and our environment clean. James (Chapter 4) encourages us to “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. . . Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James also encourages the practice of personal confession and prayer as a key to good spiritual health (James 5:16).
However, one of our most critical defenses against spiritual viruses is the fellowship of believers in the taking of communion.
Paul warns in I Corinthians 11:28 – 31, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”
So, this remembrance meal as mentioned in I Corinthians, is our best defense against spiritual weakness. Without it, we are vulnerable as the “at risk” group for illness and even death.
As this mysterious, invisible virus continues to spread and infect our society, I am thankful I gathered this morning with my family at His Way and participated in the antidote to the more pressing spiritual virus of sin, the Lord’s Supper.
Director of Ministry and Chairman of the Board