March 17, 2020
by Pastor Don Willeman
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of the Kingdom Perspective.
What must we, as the church, do in response to the coronavirus?
We must learn from Christians that have gone before us, such as St. Patrick and the Celtic Christians that followed and originated from him. When European civilization was overwhelmed by the barbarian hordes, the recently converted Celtic Christians preserved, and then eventually reestablished Christianity throughout the continent. In the words of author Thomas Cahill “the Irish…saved civilization” (see How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill).
Most basically, they did this by starting and nurturing gospel communities (i.e. churches). These churches were not what we tend to think of today as churches, but were essentially monastic-type communities that cared for every aspect of life. They believed that the lordship of Jesus redeems all of life, and they put this truth into practice.
However, these “monastic communities” were significantly different from much of what developed in Roman Christianity. As one writer put it: “The…monasteries [in Roman Christianity] were organized to protest against and escape from the materialism of the Roman world and the corruption of the church; the Celtic monasteries organized to penetrate the pagan world and extend the church?” (see The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George Hunter) These Celtic communities were not an escape from “Main Street” or the “public square”, but a mission to “Main Street” and the “public square”. Often these monasteries were set up at the gates of the ancient cities, in order to minister the gospel to these cities. They were, in effect, a “new city” within an existing city—a new society “in but not of” the existing society.
For us, this means the redemptive community of the church must become all the more critical. How can we be and live like a distinctively new society in the midst of our existing society that is full of fear? How can we love and care for one another, practically, especially in times of crisis, in such a way that the watching world sees the truth of the gospel on display in each of our communities, through each of our churches?
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
We encourage you to continue to give regularly to support the work of the church. All the more in the face of growing needs in our community, we encourage you to give above and beyond your regular giving, by contributing to the church’s Benevolence Fund. The Benevolence Fund is used in two main ways – 1) to help those with material needs within our church, and 2) to help those with need in the broader Upper Valley Community.
You may also give by mailing your gifts to Christ Redeemer Church, PO Box 5523, Hanover, NH 03755.
To learn more about CRC’s charitable work and financial giving policy, please visit us at: http://christredeemerchurch.org/home/resources/financial-contribution/