ARISE and SHINE
This present world, this sad, broken, shattered, miserable world desperately needs the testimony of the gospel. Needless to say, innumerable are the evils that beset human life, especially in these unprecedented times of Covid-19. Sometimes I hate to confess that instead of things becoming better, they seem to be getting progressively worse. This hateful virus rages not just infecting millions, but after just eight months it has already devoured over 225,000 lives right here in these United States alone, with no real sign of containment or abatement in view. It has become insatiable, causing us to wonder how many more lives and how much longer this plague will be allowed to ravage the land.
Every day we seem to awake to more distressing episodes of the Twilight Zone only to realize that this is not fantasy but real life in the twenty-first century characterized by much horror, drama, misery and tragedy and to think that it could get worse. To describe what I see today takes me back to the prophetic writings of Isaiah, when he states “For, behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people . . .” (Isaiah 60:2).
How darkness covers our world today! All I can say is this world needs the church and the church ought to be in no way intimidated by the world and all its sophisticated secularism. Is it not a verifiable truth that as darkness gets darker, the light gets brighter. Let it never be overlooked that as the prophet spoke about the foreboding darkness that would enshroud the land, he also encouragingly spoke about the Lord arising upon His people and His glory being seen upon us (Isaiah 60:2).
So in spite of all that is transpiring all around us politically, socially, economically, racially, domestically, physically and medically, let us be cautious yet to thank God for the light of His presence and His Word that continue to shine light in these most troublesome times. It is yet dark and shall become worse, but the language of Inspiration informs us “. . . but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:2). The New International Version states “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.”
The Scriptures proceed to inform the believers that many shall come to our light (Isaiah 60:3). Our light, of course, is the Jesus of glory who tabernacles daily with us and who walks religiously by our sides every single day as we continue on our pilgrimage (John 1:14; Matthew 28:20). I submit to you today without any reservations especially in these crises-filled, darkened times that our communities need our churches, for only the church has the message of eternal life and the light that is so desperately needed to show our families, friends and neighbors the way out and through this maze of darkness. Let us therefore Arise and shine . . . (Isaiah 60:1), as mandated by Holy Scripture.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Bishop – Northeast Region
October 31, 2020
October 24, 2020
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