Contributed by Eric Tober, Pastor of Faith Community Church in Dublin, Ohio
Like most of us, I learned on Thursday, March 12th that life and ministry were going to be shaken up by this coronavirus. While I felt a God-given strength of spirit, I confess to being tempted to fear. At that moment, the Spirit of God brought to my memory a verse given to me by my old mentor, Dr. Larson, when I faced a trial in my life and ministry years ago.
Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, say the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
Although I was separated from my church family on Sunday, on Monday, March 16th, I was invited by Citizens for Community Values to participate with pastors across the state of Ohio on a conference call with Director Michele Reynolds from the Governor’s Office. My spirit gained even more strength as I listened to Director Reynolds bring us up-to-date on various issues and answer questions of fellow pastors about local church ministry for our future.
As we finished up the call-in prayer, I came away feeling that although our world is being shaken up a bit, the church is still going to be the church. I also got a small taste of a unity among various denominations that felt like Heaven. I have been surprised by the joy I have felt in being more connected to the “church” of Ohio during a time of social distancing. I have also been reminded that when our world gets shaken, Jesus wants his church to be the church.