You won’t need to search very far or very long to find all kinds of ways offered by psychology professionals to help you manage the incredible stress that is accompanying the current health and economic crisis in our nation. Even though I happen to be one of those professionals, what I want to offer here is a declaration of what I think is the believer’s strongest weapon. And so, writing and speaking once again as Newville’s Someone Somewhere Saying, I urge you all to know this weapon, and to make good use of it!
You can read below the transcript of the audio version of Someone Somewhere Saying: “But You, Beloved,” The Believer’s Unique Weapon Against the Coronavirus Threat.
I miss you all and look forward to the day when we can gather together again.
Someone Somewhere Saying
By Teresa Davis
“But You, Beloved”
The Believer’s Unique Weapon Against the Coronavirus Threat
Forty-four authors, 66 books written over 1500 years—a perfect, healthy system in which the “parts” look out for each other, encourage each other, and enhance one another. This process in the Old Testament Scriptures guided our Savior as he walked among us, and this process in both the Old and the New Testaments works this way—extends itself in this way—for us today, in just the same way as it did for Him.
It is hard not to focus our thinking these days on the threat the Coronavirus poses to a downward cascade of systems and subsystems, including our world, our nation, our communities, our families, and even the cellular systems of our own bodies. For this novel virus, in a way so unlike the system of authors and books in Old and New Testament Scripture, once it enters the human body (a thing we all are desperately trying to avoid), it cares only for itself and its own survival, sometimes even to the point of killing its host.
My thoughts fly to these words of “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James” in his New Testament letter “to those who are called, who are beloved in God the Father and kept safe in Jesus Christ.” In the fourth verse, Jude says:
For certain intruders have stolen in among you . . . who pervert the grace of our God into promiscuity and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
As I was listening recently to the very impressive Dr. Deborah Birx, the allergist and immunologist from Atlanta, Georgia, who serves on President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, I heard her describe the battle against the threat of COVID-19 as one that is being fought on the “granular level.” The system involved here is our bodies, and more specifically, the cells in our bodies. It is the strength of our immune systems—alone or aided by pharmaceuticals or natural supports—as it is brought against this tiny but powerful “intruder” that has “stolen in among us” that will ultimately determine the victor of this battle. A similar battle is being fought in those larger systems—our families, our communities, our nation—and not only against the virus but also against another “intruder,” fear. It could be that this intruder is the greatest enemy of all.
Similar to the uniqueness of the virus itself, Jude’s letter offers a unique weapon that believers, those ones who are “beloved of God and kept safe in Jesus Christ,” may use in this battle. First, however, he describes his perception of what these “intruders” are like. The images and pictures he creates here, even with their foreboding nature, read like poetry to me:
These are blemishes on your love feasts,
while they feast with you without fear,
tending only to themselves,
waterless clouds being carried about by the winds,
late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead,
having been uprooted.
Wild waves of the sea foaming out their own shame,
wandering stars, for whom the deepest darkness has been reserved forever.
(Jude 1:12, 13)
And then comes the glorious declaration of the believer’s worthy weapon:
But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God; and look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life (Jude 1:20,21).
Finally, after we are given a little guidance by this servant of the Lord on some of the specifics of saving and snatching and showing mercy to the wavering ones we encounter along the way, we read one of the most beautiful doxologies in all of Scripture. (Is it any wonder that this comes just before The Revelation of John in the last book of this perfect Living Word System?):
Now to the One who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of His glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and forever. Amen (Jude 1:24,25)