John 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
In these uncertain times, we are all faced with financial worries and concerns about money. For some, it seems to be that saving for the future is futile because the financial market is on a catastrophic roller coaster. For others, the worry about losing their jobs and busting their career goals seems imminent. Hardship and recession, anxiety and depression are lurking everywhere. There just doesn’t seem to be any end to the uncertainty and, across the country, millions of families are trying to make ends meet.
How long this economic downturn will last, no one knows. So where can we invest our resources, time, and talents in something that will have a lasting effect and will endure for the rest of our lives? I think that the answer is simply this: our churches.
Now I know what you’re thinking: just because I’m a pastor, I’m bound to say this to make sure that the church survives this crisis. But that’s not the case. What I’m saying is this: in these uncertain times we should draw closer to God, to let the broken world see that our faith can overcome the worst of times. If we are just fair-weathered Christians who believe in God when things are going well, then our faith is shallow. However, if we continue to praise God and support Christ’s ministry during tough times, then our faith will be tested, tried, and turn out to be deeper than we have ever known.
During different crises in the past, the Church continued to flourish because it was needed to help heal and support those who were broken in the world. At the time of the Black Plague, many churches became hospitals in Europe. After the Reformation, the Church combated ignorance and poverty by setting up parish schools for young people, to make something better of themselves through the power of knowledge and education. And during the last Great Depression, churches ran soup kitchens, clothing centers, and support groups that enabled small communities and many families to overcome the hardship of the times.
In these uncertain times, we need to invest in the Church, because the Church ultimately brings out the best in humanity through faith, hope, and love to the many people who are struggling.
The Christ we serve is the Lord of all Compassion. So let’s use these times as an opportunity to show the world who Jesus is, by investing in our churches and applying our faith in meaningful and supportive ways.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the world is hurting and our economy is struggling. People that we know have lost their jobs, whilst others are losing their hard-earned savings. In the midst of all this uncertainty, let Your Church become a constant haven of salvation and support, kindness and compassion, charity and love. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.