“MINISTRY DURING A PANDEMIC”
Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul and do not forget all his benefits (Psalm 103:1-2)
To all the leaders and members of the Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Church in Crown heights, Brooklyn, New York, let me on behalf of my family and myself wish you a blessed and happy 115th Anniversary.
Ebenezer has survived the disasters, setbacks, disappointments and pain of loved ones lost as well as the rough road we have traveled as a church, a nation and a world especially in the wake of this Covid-19 pandemic. This is still raging in parts of the USA and other sections of the world.
Who would think that in this year 2020, the world in which we live would be challenged to face, however unprepared we were, the ravages, pain, sickness and death of loved ones near and far? Who would think that this deadly disease would shake the very foundations of our economic, political, social and yes, spiritual lives as it made its way across the globe leaving destruction, discomfort and death in it’s wake?
In the USA over 200,000 people have died and more are still dying. The amazing thing is that despite obvious evidences to the contrary, there are those who continue to maintain this is a hoax and who generally do not take it seriously. To this we ask simply: really? We are also somewhat still in the throes of an economic downturn with many people who are no longer employed and who therefore have no way of providing for their families. The monetary relief which were available for some is now expired which means bills like paying rent might not be repaid anytime soon. This means that the potential for an increase in the homeless population will become a real issue soon.
This leaves us to ponder on the direction of the world today and to ask questions like when with this end? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Why does God allow all of this? Why won’t he make it stop? Especially if he is a God of love?
My friends, this situation of seeming hopelessness is nothing for our God to resolve! If fact what seems impossible to humans is very possible for God because:.. “with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37)“. And again God asks Abraham through His angel “Is there anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14)” That is the God we serve. He is obviously not pleased with the direction the world is moving in. There is racism. There is a blatant injustice especially as far as it concerns black and brown people, minorities and immigrants. There are those who feel that the USA belongs only to them. They are the guardians of our laws and the protectors of our constitution, yet their hypocrisy is so plain a blind man can see it from afar.
So what can we do as God’s children?
We should realize that if God allows difficult experiences to come our way, He will take us all the way through them. God wants us to pray but He wants us to work. Work will be different in this “New Normal”in which we find ourselves, but He has given us wisdom to figure some things out. A large part of what we do now as far as ministry will continue to be done on social media. Evangelism must take a different mode. We have to get acquainted with the internet: Youtube, Facebook, Zoom, etc, and how to use these platforms to our advantage. We already have conference prayers. We have worship services on Zoom and Facebook. Can we get our worship services on Youtube as well? Look out for Zoom or Conference Line Bible Studies coming soon!
As we continue to wait on the coming of our Lord, let us not be weary in well-doing for in due season we will reap our reward if we do not faint. Let us have the faith of God and never doubt what God will do when we are willing to lean on Him and not on our own understanding. Again, have a happy 115th Anniversary Ebenezer. God’s richest blessings be on you all.
Rev Edward L Jenkins, Sr B.A, MDIV