A Church Where Everybody Matters
Gen 2:7; Acts 2:42-44; Luke 15
This time last year we had just concluded our first and last District Convention for the year, then almost suddenly we were blindsided by this monstrous pandemic Covid-19, which unfortunately still continues to rage, threatening the very existence of so many all around us. Since then can you imagine over 540,000 lives have been ushered into eternity in these United Sates of America alone. The worldwide count remains a staggering 2.6 million and more.
This ravenous virus has affected all of us from president to pauper, stealthily moving from one house to the next, one state to another. It seems insatiable and now manifesting itself and mutating into different strains and variants. We refuse to forget the many lives stricken and taken down by this virus even from our various local churches right here in the Northeast Region. We do everything within our power to fight back and keep our churches safe. We plain refuse to roll over and play dead. Our resolute response is Covid-19 you have done enough! We rally against all the forces of darkness that rally against us. We speak life and react against the forces of darkness with every spiritual fiber in our beings, using every possible weapon at our disposal, even this vaccine!
In our meditations last week we were led to reflect to some degree on Genesis 2:7. I find it very enlightening that in this one text so much truth is deposited and revealed. There it is disclosed, that not only are we related to God the divine One, but we are uniquely connected and related to each other – all “from the dust of the ground” . . . (Genesis 2:7). Right from this beginning of Scripture, it is made crystal clear that we are all coming from the same divine source, the same place, the same composition, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, language, color of skin, tone, hue or complexion– coming from the same stock, ilk and material! Therefore, by extension and implication we are all responsible for and should be accountable one to another. I have found that many of the constructs that we have devised to keep us separated, divided and apart, do not make any sense when held up to the scrutinizing light of Scripture.
Concerning the Jerusalem church, which we uphold as our prototype, we are informed that “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer… All the believers were together and had everything in common” (Acts 2:42-44). There seemed to be no big “I(s)” and little “You(s)” among them. There they seemed to stand on equal footing – not so much dichotomized into leadership and laity, ministry and laypeople or the upper echelons and the common people – but all brethren!
All the believers were together! Here everybody mattered! There was a real connectedness between them. They were bonded together, by earth and by heaven. They covenanted together. There was a commonality that was felt. Theirs was a commonwealth – a concern for all prospering and sharing together. You could feel the love, the sharing, the fellowship. You felt the fellowship! It was real! Everybody mattered! They were a together – church: with it, with God, with each other!
I want to belong to such a church – a church where everybody knows my name, and they are really glad that I came! I want to belong to a church where I feel that I matter – that I am important, not because of my title or the color of my skin, but just because. Are we such a church in the Northeast Region, especially on the anniversary month of this out-of-order pandemic? Everybody matters!
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Bishop – Northeast Region
March 20, 2021
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region