We have all heard how a local church apparently spread the COVID-19 virus through the mingling of the congregation weeks before the state gave permission to reassemble. Now we know the decision to open early did not turn out well and should have been delayed. Hindsight proves accuracy better than foresight. It is regrettable that people in our community suffered, and may continue to do so, with this virus. What should we be feeling about the church now?
According to the biblical story of a woman caught in sin and literally thrown at Jesus’ feet for his declaration of guilty, the religious “good guys” were ready to cast stones at her until death. Never saying a word, Jesus leaned down and wrote in the dust. (Perhaps listing the accusers’ sins and shortcomings?) Then he said, “Those who are without sin can throw the first stone.” One by one the accusers slunk off. Jesus said to the woman, “Neither do I accuse you. Now go and sin no more.”
In light of this biblical story, let us not pick up a verbal or literary stone to throw at the Lighthouse church. Rather, let us replace those thoughts and words of condemnation by remembering the good works the church has done.
I am not a member or regular attendee of this church, but I have a few memories of the church lifting others up in their needs. For one, I attended a funeral for two families grieving the loss of their young boys. This church offered their beautiful building to the families for a place to hold the wake and funeral service.
Another memory, the church presented a moving Christmas drama service for the community, which I attended and was deeply blessed even to tears. Again, the church pastor officiated at my wedding, and the church provided the tables and chairs for the buffet in the yard, including picking up and delivering them which was a much appreciated act of kindness.
Lastly, the church has educated hundreds of children with a Christian education, gifting many the price of tuition. The Bishop’s wife, Robin, has directed this school for 35 years, serving 70 children each year.
Yes, they made a wrong call regarding the virus, but the church and its leadership should not be shunned with “rolling of the eyes” and veiled threats as detected in the former articles of this paper. In this instance, we should continue doing our acts of kindness to all in our community while obeying the government’s COVID-19 directives.
Union County’s communities know and practice obeying the laws, treating other people as we want to be treated, and forgiving. Let us move on.