The Church can rise up and bring relief in deliverance to those suffering due to the pandemic, or diminish and die…
As we emerge from the global pandemic, society has two enormous challenges. There is a growing mental health catastrophe as well as an economic crisis.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the world was already a lonely place for so many people. More than a year later, we find ourselves in an even greater solitary climate as shielding and other social measures have left us even more distant from others.
Those facing mental health issues are likely to increase further once the economic impact of unemployment increases its grip. As people discover they have no job and government support across the world ends, mental health issues will rise further.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, acknowledged last year that the pandemic’s effect on people’s mental health was worrying. He said, “The impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health is already extremely concerning. Social isolation, fear of contagion, and loss of family members is compounded by the distress caused by loss of income and often employment.”
While we look on with concern, you may be asking, “What has this got to do with me or the Church?”
I firmly believe that this is a ‘Mordecai Moment’ for the global Church, and that God created us for such a time as this.
Mordecai was a relative and guardian of Queen Esther, a Jew placed in the Persian royal palace after becoming the wife of King Xerxes. After discovering the king was going to allow his highest official to slaughter the Jews, Mordecai approached the queen.
He challenged Esther, saying, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). As a result, Esther stepped up and, after bravely approaching the king, the Jews were saved.
I believe God is saying to the Church today that it was created ‘for such a time as this’. We must not remain silent because we can bring relief and deliverance during this crisis. But if we do not grasp this opportunity, the Church’s relevance will diminish and die.
The Church has an opportunity like no other in our lifetime. Such a historic moment allows it to demonstrate its relevance to a world in pain. Society is wrestling with well- being and economic survival and recovery.
Mordecai reminded Esther that she was given her royal position for such a time as this. We have also been given a royal position – as sons and daughters of the King and his Kingdom. Our position comes with certain privileges, just as it did with Esther.
God made us in His image, and He reveals himself as both a God of relationships and entrepreneurship. In the first three verses of Genesis, we read that, in the beginning, was God and His spirit hovered over creation before it came into being. And when He spoke his word, He created the world. God is three in one and one in three.
We were created in the image of a God, who is the embodiment of relationships, community and love. And so we can only become the people who God made us to be, by embracing the opportunity to build our lives on relationships, community and love. This is our royal position!
In creating the universe, God took a huge risk and made something out of nothing and it was very good! God is the great entrepreneur and created us in his image; we all have this spirit of enterprise within us. We are all innovative, creative and entrepreneurial and God has given us a royal position to use these gifts.
The global Church has the opportunity to bring relief and development for people facing mental health or economic crises. Our very identity, and all that flows out of us, was created for such a time as this.
Esther was given a royal position and used it for the good of the Jews. The Church must follow her example and use our royal position for the good of humanity. If we fail to do so, God will find another way and the relevance of the Church will diminish.
Like Esther, it is time to put on our royal robes and take action.
Matt Bird, Global Speaker & CEO Cinnamon Network International