Peace in the Pandemic

March 18

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion…”

So begins Peter’s first letter to the church embattled and scattered throughout the region we now know

as Turkey. He writes to the “elect” who have been chosen by God for salvation in Jesus Christ. Perhaps

today he would have written to “the believers who are dispersed about the Denver metro, quarantined

in your homes, unable to meet together for fellowship.”

What do you say to the early Christians and believers today who are ‘temporary residents’ (exiles) of a

world full of trouble, in our case, of pandemic? How do you encourage them? Peter starts this way: by

reminding us that we are in our current situation “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1

Peter 1:2).

God’s foreknowledge is not just his knowledge of what is going to happen before it happens, though he

does know that. It is his loving purpose to determine what is going to happen for the good of his people

and for his glory. This is reflected in Acts 17:26-27, “he made from one man every nation of mankind to

live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling

place, that they should seek God in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet

he is actually not far from each one of us.” This means you are where you are and when you are because

of God’s sovereign and loving purposes.

It is helpful to consider in these days of pandemic that you are not dealing with this by accident, and you

are not dealing with this alone. God placed you here, and he is here with you. And he intends for you to

seek him and find his grace to be sufficient to get you through each day. He is “actually not far from

each one of us.”

Seeking the Lord with you,

Pastor Mark


March 19

Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules

for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a

shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those

that are with young."; Isaiah 40:10-11

This passage comes somewhat unexpectedly on the heels of a very dire prophecy – that Judah will be

taken into captivity, and nothing will be left of the glory that was once the nation of Israel (Isaiah 39:5-

7). It is in the midst of this terrible forecast that a promise is given: that God will come to the rescue in

time. The God who rules in power will come as a gentle shepherd tending his flock, carrying them close

to his heart, leading the vulnerable to green pastures.

Does this sound like a fairy tale? But no, it is already happening! For the almighty God has come as a

shepherd to rescue his people. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the

sheep” said Jesus (John 10:11). The rescue is for you, believer.

COVID-19 has shaken the stock markets, closed schools and businesses and struck fear into the hearts of

many. Like Judah of old, the forecast appears grim. But think of this! You are beloved sheep that Jesus

came to rescue, and the rescue has already begun. Forgiven, accepted, loved by God - he will tend you

like a shepherd through the pandemic. He will carry you close to his heart. He will lead you, with all your

vulnerabilities and weakness, through the valley and into the green pastures of eternal glory.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

For the Chief Shepherd,

Pastor Mark

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