“And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:40-42, ESV).
For the past couple of months, we’ve grown accustomed to new catch phrases like, “the new normal,” “sheltering-in-place” and “social distancing.” We’ve been caught up in the swirl of conversations such as what it means to “flatten the curve,” whether face masks actually protect people around us or not, and do the numbers of deaths from COVID-19 cases reflect original forecasts?
At this stage of the game the conversations have turned from simple Facebook brawls to protests and groups forming to resist the Governor’s shuttering of the economy; small businesses and churches are unable to reopen while large box stores labeled “essential businesses” are packed with customers. On top of this, Constitutional rights are being removed in the name of “safety.” America has faced its enemies, but this one seeks to destroy our health and liberty. On top of this, are the actual statistics of those victims of the virus. My heart goes out to anyone having suffered the loss of health or a loved one.
I believe we are living in a time where the devil, knowing his time is short (Revelation 12:12), is in a full-blown rage, and we are the focus of his anger. Why? America was formed for the purpose of worshiping God freely. The Gospel has been preached from these shores more than from any other nation, and we support and defend Israel – the land from which the Savior came.
For years there has been a push to assert socialism into our society. For the past couple of months, we’ve experienced a sample of what that would look like; a thriving economy brought to its knees, empty shelves at the grocery store, government assistance paid for by the taxpayers. Jobless claims have skyrocketed to near depression era levels.
Beloved San Diego area businesses have closed, never to reopen, such as Souplantation, Nordstrom in Escondido, and many more… People’s livelihoods, gone. If ever the church was needed, it is now. Make no mistake, the church is alive and well, but it is time for their doors to open again. People need a place to gather safely and experience fellowship, prayer, healing and Christian love to get through the days ahead.
Yesterday, I participated in a Zoom call with Kristin Gaspar, serving on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, along with 85 other pastors and leaders. From that meeting, Kristin sent a letter to Governor Newsom asking for churches to reopen immediately, with a list of proposed safety guidelines to be followed. We will know the outcome of this effort within the next couple of weeks.
Until then, I urge you to pray with me for healing for those ill with the virus, comfort for those having lost loved ones, for the economy to rebound quickly and for people to be open to their need for a Savior. If ever there was a need, it is now!
More next week!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos. During the COVID-19 “Shelter-in-place” order, visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for Sunday services on-line, and for further information about the ministry. Also join us for prayer daily, M-Sat. at 10 a.m., LIVE on the Grace San Marcos Facebook page.