As I write this post, I’m watching a newscast of how my Cleveland area airport had a recent passenger come through it who had the ebola virus. All the sound bytes indicate that everything seems to be fine and contained, even though I can’t help but remember the epilogue of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – how one man (who happened to be an airline pilot) ended up spreading a disease worldwide that led to the almost-demise of humanity.
I’m not trying to freak anyone out. GotQuestions.org has a great article on Ebola, pandemic diseases and God’s sovereignty over it all. Here’s a quote:
The current Ebola epidemic is not the last we will see of plagues. Jesus referred to future plagues that will be part of the end-times scenario (Luke 21:11). The two witnesses of Revelation 11 will have power “to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want” (Revelation 11:6). Revelation 15 speaks of seven plagues wielded by seven angels as the final, most severe judgments, described in Revelation 16.
I more want to ask something practical – how does this affect how you do ministry?
Consider the typical church greeting time.
- “Say hi to someone else this morning.”
- “Extend and offer the sign of peace.”
- “High five your neighbor.”
How about other aspects of ministry that involve human contact?
- The prep and administration of Holy Communion / The Lord’s Supper?
- Welcoming guests at the door?
- Praying in a circle, holding hands?
- Sitting next to someone in a class or gathering who has an obvious cough, and doesn’t seem all that concerned at covering their mouth as they do?
Should we be rethinking how we do church in these days where what happens on one side of the globe isn’t autonomous?
I like what Seth Godin pointed out in his post “We have ebola”: “We are they. They are us.”
On one hand, Jesus says “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11) On the other hand, we learn “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (Matthew 10:1)
What do you think?
What should or shouldn’t we do in response?
Is this another chapter for the Emergency Response Handbook for Youth Ministry?