By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president


No doubt you have heard many things about a certain virus that is making daily headlines. You, like me, have likely read a lot of information that is out there about the coronavirus. Many precautions are being taken and the things that are happening are unprecedented — at least in my lifetime.

One of the interesting things that I read was how long this virus can last on different surfaces. On some surfaces, it can last days while in other environments it last only for hours. The same article (from NPR – read it here) stated the importance of cleaning those surfaces and shared how to best kill the virus that may be lingering on those different surfaces.

Of course, as a pastor, it made me think of something else that should be a lingering presence for all of us in this time. Ephesians 5 opens with this counsel:

Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

In Philippians 4:18, Paul also mentions a gift that was given to him from some godly people and says it was a sweet smelling, fragrant and lingering aroma.

In this time of uncertainty that is happening all around us, it is important for us to be such great representatives of Jesus that we will be a sweet-smelling aroma that will be a lingering presence that will last much longer than any virus.

Our church buildings may be closed, but our church has never closed because Christians are the church. Not the building. The church can and should be moving forward into this time of anxiety and becoming that gift to the world that will be a sweet lingering presences in the lives of those around us.