My Friends, I offer the following words as a reminder of what you already know: the presence and power of Jesus in your life has more impact than COVID-19 upon your life. The impact of Jesus in your life is greater than the impact of COVID-19 upon your life. This is true of both the big things of life and the small things of life.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col. 3:1-4, NIV 2011)
If your life has been hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3), what can COVID-19 due to you in an ultimate sense? Oh, COVID-19 can disrupt life; it can bring misery, suffering, and death to bodies. Indeed, it has and will bring misery to particular people in a way that my emotions cannot bear. And it will probably bring suffering and death around the globe in a way that nearly overwhelms me. I am hidden with Christ in God. I am weak; he is strong. In my weakness, his power is on display. I am finite; he is unlimited. In my finitude, his greatness is on display. COVID-19 cannot separate me or you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. COVID-19 does not have the power to hinder the Spirit from continually pouring the love of God into my heart and into your heart. Because we are hidden with Christ in God, you and I can continue to do the small, weak, and limited acts of loving service during this season of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jesus is great, strong and powerful.
When Jesus comes back in glory, that is, when his power, beauty, holiness, magnificence and splendor are on full display for the whole world to see, you and I will be present with him and will be revealed in a splendor derived from his splendor (Col 3:4). A glorious body is in your future; it will be imperishable, incorruptible and no longer subject to sin, illness, suffering or death. COVID-19 cannot hinder in any way the future of Christ’s glory-manifest-in-you at his coming. The shadow of COVID-19 in this age will disappear in the dazzling glory of Jesus’s second coming. So, in our mundane and often unseen acts of loving service during this season of COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate his spectacular manifestation of full glory and our participation with him in this revelation.
In a very real sense you and I have already died to the present age (Col 3:3), including the pseudo-reign of COVID-19 at the present hour. In a very real sense you and I have also been raised with Christ from this death (Col. 3:1) to a newness of life that is not ultimately subject to the present age nor COVID-19. By faith in Jesus and his work, we are united with Jesus in his death and resurrection. The present age (including the world, the flesh, and the devil) no longer has the place of lordship over our lives. We have died to the forms of dominion that once enslaved us. We have been raised to a new life, and Jesus is Lord over all of it. In the person and work of Jesus, the Age to Come has broken into the present evil age, and we have newness of life in the realm and reign of God.
COVID-19 has had a profound impact upon our lives. Jesus’s impact upon life, however, is far greater in every way, both in this present evil age and in the glorious Age to Come.