If you are alive and have any contact with any other human being on the planet, you know that we are struggling with a new pandemic. Everyone has heard of Covid-19. People are scared. People are reacting in fear - it is difficult not to do that.
Faith is easy when life is good. That doesn't make sense, does it? If life is easy, is faith really possible? We began this morning by hearing an illustration from Pastor Steve. early Christianity, when disease was rampant in Rome, people would literally throw their relatives out the door when they came down with the sickness so that it did not spread to anyone else. They were trying to prevent the spread of disease.
It wasn't until Christians stepped in and stepped up - that this behavior actually changed. People were dying, not from the sickness, but from the elements. This sickness wasn't an automatic death sentence, but being out in the elements, being exposed to weather, animals, and generally things in the environment was killing people. The other religions of the day had people running from this sickness by throwing people away. Christianity ran toward people. We are called to go out to people. We are called to reach out. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
This might be where it gets somewhat difficult. As a species, we automatically switch over to fight or flight mode. We become afraid. The limbic system in our brains switches on and go into action - the action of fear. It is easy to be afraid. We get caught in the "what-ifs" of life. What if this happens? What if that happens? We don't know what is going to happen in life. This week has proven to us that we don't know what it is going to happen within a week. We never know what is going to happen. Faith is difficult.
Yesterday, we heard the story of Esther. Esther had a decision to make. She could lay low and protect herself. Her family would die, but she would not die at the hands of the king. Or, she could risk everything, go before the king, knowing full well she could die, and save her people. Her uncle confronted her saying, sure, she could protect herself, but, what if she was born for such as a time as this? What if this is for what she was made? She risked everything. She went before the king. She told him what was going on - she saved her people.
Faith is difficult. When things are going south, how do we proclaim the name of Christ? When our world falls apart, what do we do? A.W. Tozer said that God never uses a church greatly before testing it deeply. For a long time, we have been talking about the fact that we are Made For More. Maybe we were created for such a time as this.
In the song, "Born Ready" by Zade Wolf the chorus goes:
"Start me up Open my eyes Turn me loose and you'll see why I was born, born ready I was born, born ready Staring at the pressure now I won't quit, not backing down"
When we take Jesus seriously and seek first the Kingdom of God, we don't have to worry about anything else. Because of Jesus, we were born ready. Through our baptism, we are born from above. We were born ready. Maybe we were created for such a time as this.