I’d like to think there may be a better way forward as states reopen their economies. What if governors welcome churches to do what they do best in the reopening? Sunday has historically been called the “market-day of souls” (more on that in a moment). What if our leaders reopen the markets of our state by reopening the market-day of the soul first?
I’d like to think there may be a better way forward as states reopen their economies. What if governors welcome churches to do what they do best in the reopening? Sunday has historically been called the “market-day of souls” (more on that in a moment). What if our leaders reopen the markets of our state by reopening the market-day of the soul first? Call for a day of thanksgiving and supplication for mercy on a Sunday and then reopen the material economy, as it were, on Monday.
Churches could assemble in gatherings of fifty or fewer, consistent with whatever the numbers for approved assembly would be in the marketplace on Monday. All appropriate social-distancing requirements would be in place. Presidents and governors have historically called for special days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving as part of the rich heritage of our land. Why not unite the hearts of people in our land by doing it again? Even more than material blessings, we need the blessing of God on our souls.
Christians have been on their knees asking God for his mercy. I’m deeply grateful that my governor here in Indiana, Eric Holcomb, took a of posture of humility before God as he prayed about the pandemic in our statehouse chaplain’s daily online prayer service a couple of weeks ago. The Lord has answered and he will again. I believe that by inviting our residents to gather carefully for a special day of thanksgiving and prayer, those of the household of faith would gladly, humbly, and circumspectly lead the way to ask God’s blessing on our reopening of our state.
The deadly and destructive virus will not vanish overnight, and we must be vigilant in our fight. We grieve losses of loved ones who have died. We pray for those who still suffer along with those providing care. We must also praise God he has spared us from the worst predictions. Indeed, for my home state of Indiana, early April projections by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed a peak of 97 deaths on April 14. That day, the state reports there were 34 COVID-19 deaths (as of data posted on April 20). Similarly, numbers are down on other fronts from the original projections. Whether the early projections were based on the best data or models or not can and will be debated, but the point stands: the curve has flattened compared to early warnings. In most parts of the nation, our healthcare facilities have kept up.
We are grateful for the many efforts of leaders, healthcare workers, and ordinary citizens far and wide for their efforts to serve as best as they have known how. Residents have learned of our need to take this virus seriously and behave carefully. People have proven themselves trustworthy over the weeks of this pandemic, by and large.