“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life,’’’ John 8:12

Covid-19 – these five letters and two numbers are seared in our minds.  The news media, of all kinds, and our politicians have done a very good job of putting it in front of us every day.  It has become a household name that every child and adult does not need a reminding explanation to understand what it is.

I talked to a funeral director at a large funeral service I officiated last month.  The director told me about the many funeral services he directed this last year.  The percentage of the Covid-19 funeral services he directed last year was astoundingly high.  My response to him was, “this pandemic is real” to which he agreed.

Now that the vaccine is available, I am hearing and noticing varied reactions.  Some cannot wait to jump into taking the vaccine, and some are hesitant, and some do not want to take it at all.  In our family, I was the first adopter.  As soon as the vaccines were available, I registered and am now fully vaccinated.  My wife, on the other hand, hesitated and took some encouragement to have her registered; she has the first dose and waiting for the second.  I have asked some in my circle of influence who affirmatively said that they will not take the vaccine.  Different reactions for different reasons.

I also hear some people say “the light is at the end of the tunnel” as far as the pandemic is concerned.  I do not have to tell you what the meaning of the expression is.  But I agree with those who think it is at the end of the tunnel.  Things seem to be opening back up again.  Our congregation in Hurst is getting a little more crowded on Sunday morning.  My hope is that we will be back fully to in-person worship and more online.

However, the light has never been at the end of the tunnel.  It always has been with us, brightening our hearts and illuminating our ways.  Our pastors and congregations have adjusted to the new normal and used technology to reach even more people than they had reached before the pandemic. Our urban missionaries in the Dallas—Fort Worth metroplex have grown closer to each other and have now sprung into new cooperative and strategic partnerships.  I hope we do not go back to the old normal.  It is a new day with a new normal that will prepare us for the 21st-century mission movement.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall never walk in darkness but have the light of life,” (John 8:12).  The light, Jesus Christ, had never left us alone in the fight.  As He promised, He was, is, and will be with us to the end.  Moreover, He is our light and our life, thus, as St Paul said in Romans 8, nothing can separate us from Him, even the funerals and the earthly death that Covid-19 brought upon our nation and the world.

The light is never at the end of the tunnel for those who believe – He is always with us! He is risen! He is risen indeed!

The text is from The New King James Version.

By Rev. Dr. Yohannes Mengsteab
Mission Strategist