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For Such a Time as This in Real Time

We recently posted a ChinaSource statement on COVID-19 entitled “For Such a Time as This” which concluded:

ChinaSource’s commitment to its mission is not contingent on circumstances. Crisis or not, by his grace, we are here to engage, collaborate and serve-for such a time as this.

As Ted Esler, president of Missio Nexus, is want to say, no matter what the crisis or obstacle, “the mission is still the mission.”

Even as the world is facing the worst pandemic in a century, I believe the Lord has given ChinaSource an important calling to continue helping forge collaborative oneness in Christ between the church in China and the global church, while amplifying Chinese church voices and bringing understanding to the church in the West.

I am not alone. I am grateful to be part of a team that is sacrificially invested in the ministry God has given ChinaSource. Our team has been through a lot this past year, or so we thought, until the virus arrived.

The Lord, has, and is, seeing us through. COVID-19 is causing major life challenges with every new day, but our team is growing stronger, fueled by the conviction that the Lord has called us into all this “for such a time as this.”

The fact is Christ’s followers are following him into the fire all around the world, “for such a time as this.”

When Mordecai expressed this thought to his cousin Hadassah, Queen Esther, it was part of a larger, immediate life and death context:

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

The ultimate “for such a time as this” moment was certainly when Jesus, knowing that “the Father had put all things under his power,” got up from the meal, took up a basin and a towel, and afterwards went on to Calvary. But not before he passed by way of the garden of Gethsemane to meet his overwhelming soul moment, and to count the cost one last time.

The fact is, we all have our “for such a time as this” moments, and for many, there are several when walking in the ways of the sovereign one.

But in the immediacy of a life and death moment, when the right decision and action may almost certainly end in death, we look to Jesus, Queen Esther, and now so many faithful ones in real time, for eternal and timely cues.

  • The twenty-seven-year-old cashier who died while working overtime in poor conditions so that elderly shoppers could be helped through their fears.
  • Countless frontline medical workers who continue to serve even without proper protective equipment.

We have heard these kind of accounts from Wuhan to New York City and across the world.

A long-time family friend, a surgeon who is placing safe tracheostomies in the COVID-19 ICUs in Queens, New York, the epicenter of the virus spread in the US, posted this on Easter Sunday:

On the morning of Good Friday I opened my Bible, the scripture of the day was I Corinthians chapter 16. There are some chapters of the Bible that just don’t get remembered or quoted or preached on and this is one of them. I’ve never heard a sermon on this chapter because it’s a bunch of greetings and farewells from St. Paul. But being the rule follower that I am I went ahead and read it anyway. And then there was the pair of verses that hit me (8, 9): “But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.”

Wow. A great door for effective work has opened to me. I could relate and how thankful I was that that door had opened. But the obstacles and opposing forces were also great. Yet for Paul that was not a reason to find work in an easier place, it was actually a reason for him to stay on. Wow again. So cool. Engage the enemy. Fight. There is a fight worth fighting so I am staying.

God traveling this journey along with me and giving me that verse at that time. So cool.

May the plagues Passover us. Happy Easter All. He is arisen. He is arisen indeed Hallelujah!

For such a time as this.

Image credit: ray Xu from Pixabay.
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Kerry Schottelkorb

Kerry Schottelkorb

Rev. Kerry Schottelkorb is the president of ChinaSource. For twenty years Kerry was involved in local church planting and youth ministry, both in the US and Hong Kong. He was the founding pastor of the Cle Elum Alliance Church in Cle Elum, Washington and one of two founding pastors of Evangelical …View Full Bio

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