Starting 10th January, our new teaching series is based on “God and the Pandemic” by Tom Wright, published in 2020. If you would like to read the book, click here to purchase a copy via Eden. Each week we will unpack the following chapters:
God and the Pandemic: Suffering
Job 9:1-20 & Mark 8:31-38
Based on chapter 2
Does the virus mean God is calling people to repent? Is God punishing us for our misbehavior? Is God unjust and distant? Does God cause suffering? Does everything happen for a REASON? The book of Job challenges and reminds us that there are more puzzle’s and more pains in heaven and earth than we can comprehend. The book of Job is not straight forward and there does not appear to be a resolution but it is clear that this book and the story of Israel is a covenantal story between a creator God and a people that he calls to partner with him to restore humanity and creation.
God and the Pandemic: Crisis
Mark 12:1-12 & Phil 2:5-11
Based on chapter 3
Is the virus a warning sign? Is it a sign of the end times? What is God communicating through the virus? Parable of the vineyard – After the owner sends his son, who is also killed, there can be no more messengers. There will be no more signs. We shouldn’t need prodding and yanking. Any summons to repentance, any announcement of God’s kingdom come not through wars, earthquakes or plagues but come through Jesus.
God and the Pandemic: Lament
Lamentations 5:14-22 & John 11:32-44
Based on chapter 2 & 5
Why must we lament? How do we talk about God? What is grief? Why are we afraid to grieve? Lamenting is expressing that things are not as they should be. Lament expresses words of complaint, question, of sorrow, anger and frustration and bitterness. Our culture is afraid of admitting that death is scary, so we avoid talking about grief and we tell ourselves and each other that we must be strong. But we only have to be as strong as Jesus who wept beside the tomb of his friend. Strength is redefined as strong in prayer, strong in waiting, strong in groaning.
God and the Pandemic: Mission
Hebrews 1:1-3 & Matt 6:9-14
Based on chapter 4 & 5
Where do we go from here? How do we recover? How do we live in the present? How can we play our part in the mission of God’s Kingdom? God’s kingdom is being launched on earth as it is in heaven and the way it will happen is by God working through his people. We are the way God wants to act in this world. We are his partners in mission, we will face challenges, trials, obstacles and suffering. We are the answer to, “What needs to be done here? How can we help? Who shall we send?”
Alongside our sermon series, we have a virtual community space where you can post songs, reflections, stories, prayers, poems and scripture following 2020.
Stories of Joy
You may also like to read our ‘Stories of Joy’, a collection of short reflections from our church family.