I keep hearing people say, “I just want things to get back to normal.” As I write this, the news reports that over 486,490 people in the United States have confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, and 17,925 people have died. Anyone in their right mind wants this virus to go away, but do we really want to go back to normal? Or could there be a “new normal”? What if our new normal would see a deeper respect and reverence for God? What if we humbled ourselves and asked God to forgive us for our pride and walked before Him in faith and humility? I just finished the Book of 2 Chronicles. Chapter 36 ends with the sad story of Judah’s demise over many years of spiritual neglect and idolatry. Their final defeat came after many attempts by the Lord to get their attention. “The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy” (vv. 15-16). I don’t believe God delights in seeing something like COVID-19 grip the nations of the world. I do believe, however, God’s people should take this crisis as a call to pray for our world and to repent. These days of struggle are a powerful lesson that life can change dramatically, and whatever we put our hope in (besides the Lord) can disappear quickly. So, my prayer is not that we return to “business as usual.” I pray that we stop ignoring God and that we learn to reverence Him and walk before Him in justice, mercy, and humility (see Micah 6:8). May we, as the church of Jesus, do our part to seek the Lord, crying out to Him for our family, neighbors, community, and world. Does America have a prayer? Only you can answer that.
Pastor Mark Boucher