By Chuck Griffin
As we enter the last quarter of the year and what we typically think of as the “holiday season,” I’m sure many of you feel as frustrated as I do. This pandemic is still with us, despite many of us thinking in the middle of the year that the situation would be more normal by now.
Worship attendance is down, and despite having had what seemed like some very powerful worship experiences recently, I long for the weekly church participation we used to see. At the same time, I understand where most people are. Within my own family, we have a lot of concerns regarding what could be carried to the unvaccinated and vaccinated-but-vulnerable people among us.
Galatians 6:8-10 offers us a straightforward strategy to bear us through these tiresome times: “If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”
How can we continue to do good in the world, focusing in particular on the good of our fellow church members? Or perhaps I should pose the question in the singular: How can I do good … how can you do good? This isn’t a new concept for Christians, of course. Each of us needs to arise in the morning and think, “I want to do something that counts as good today, something that makes a difference.”
Thinking such thoughts raises our level of alertness, which is critical if we are to get our timing right. Some of you know I have practiced karate for years, and we who do so have these pithy little sayings that are translations from what is known as the “Karate Code.” One of my favorites is, “The time to strike is when opportunity presents itself.”
We strike at evil whenever we do good. But we have to keep our eyes open for those limited windows of opportunity. And then we have to be bold enough to move quickly.
We may be more constrained in how we move about the world right now, but as we move about, let’s keep our eyes open for those places where a kind word, a prayer or our resources can go to work right away.
Even a pandemic isn’t powerful enough to keep us from consciously doing good. And never forget that as we do good, we are planting for the future. God promises we will reap mightily for the kingdom.
Lord, we ask that you do more than just bring us through this difficult time. May we make good use of the time we are in now. Amen.