Washing Hands to the Doxology … And COVID-19

First, a hat-tip to my friend Joy who posted the above video.

Second, since we end Tapestry‘s worship gatherings with the Doxology each week I am going to have a difficult time not thinking of this when we end our gatherings. 🙂

Third, let’s talk about COVID-19 again, because, well, everything is about it now. 🙂

Okay, not really but I do want to talk about being “so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good” for a second. You may have heard that phrase before. It was used a good bit when I was in seminary the first time. Not as much the second time but I hope that may have been because most of the students in the D.Min program were older and had already learned that lesson. What has sparked this subject in my mind is a tweet that has been making the rounds in the group of people I follow on Twitter. It is from Own Strachan, a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – one of our SBC seminaries I did not attend.

Here’s the tweet:

He goes only to listed 6 other actions that you should do in order to prepare for coronavirus. The problem is that NOT A SINGLE ONE of them involves washing your hands or doing anything that would actually help you prepare for, or more importantly avoid, infection from the COVID-19 virus. Obviously he gets roasted for not mentioning hand washing.

I think my favorite response is this snarky use of scripture.

I mean seriously, that is a pretty awesome snarky scriptural response.

I don’t really have a problem with Strachan’s use of the COVID-19 virus to encourage us to ask deeper questions about our lives. In my opinion, the challenges we face should cause us to think more about what our lives are all about, and I believe our lives are all about connecting with God and through Him connecting with those created in His image. So I like the fact that he uses this moment to encourage us to think deeper, it is just that his encouragement pretty much divorces people from our lives here rather than recognizing that God wants to start that eternal relationship with us now in the nitty-gritty of everyday life. Jesus healed people in the present while preaching the eternal.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.

It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.

Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 134.

Our faith should draw heaven into the present around us, not remove us from that present. Those of us who are believers that Jesus is Lord are ambassadors of His kingdom. We represent His kingdom while we live in the kingdoms around us. Because we believe in the Lord of Host we begin to live out His practices in our everyday lives. We don’t have to fear death from the COVID-19 virus, or anything else, because of the trust we have in Jesus, and therefore we can wash our hands and help those who might be afraid. We get to over them help in the present and the eternal. We get to run into the crisis because we are not afraid, rather than running away from it, and if you are running into a virus crisis you wash your hands regularly so that you can continue demonstrating hope in the midst of fear.

Therefore, let the COVID-19 virus lead you to wash your hands OFTEN and think about what life is all about. Be so heavenly minded that you WASH YOUR HANDS!

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