By Micheal Goetz–Just as quickly as the pandemic raced across our nation and the world, came the lament, “we are living in unprecedented times.” It was that word, unprecedented, that stirred my thoughts. Unprecedented, signals something that is not been known or experienced before. However, from just a human-point, is a virus spread like this completely new? No, our historians will remind us over and over stories of crisis and pandemic (Bubonic Plague, Spanish Influenza, etc.). Even in our own community of faith, this is the 5th time the General Conference Session has been postponed.
Then take it from a God-point, He who sits above the circle was not caught off guard when church, school, and work calendars on earth came to a screeching halt. No surprise, He knew it was coming. Unprecedented? Solomon would speak up and remind us: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecc. 1:9)
But all of that brings us to the greater point. A quick review of quarantine and mandated social distancing can be inspiring: The apostle Paul wrote part of the New Testament while under house arrest. In 1665 Cambridge University closed its doors because of the Bubonic Plague. Isaac Newton developed the beginning of calculus and discovered gravity while in quarantine. While in quarantine John Milton in 1667, during the Great Plague of London, wrote Paradise Lost. Pilgrim’s Progress was written by John Bunyan during his 12 years in prison ending in 1672. And as a prophetic movement we have long drawn courage that the book of Revelation was given to John while separated from all those he knew and loved.
Could this crucible of suffering be God’s workshop to an unprecedented work? It was His voice recorded in Isaiah that made the declaration, Behold I will do a new thing. (43:19).
The kingdom of darkness has nothing new, however the Kingdom of Heaven continues to dream unprecedented accomplishments for you and for your church.
Micheal Goetz, DMin. is Lead Pastor at Campion Seventh-day Adventist Church