In these days when only one word seems to be dominating every thought, every word and every action – Coronavirus; I want to give us a word of my own in order to encourage us.
Today I want to talk about a little word used over 200 times in the New Testament but with a big meaning. That word is “Egeneto”. In modern translations of the Bible it may be translated “when” or “it became” or “it happened” or something similar. As such it is unremarkable and we hardly notice it at all.
However, in the older translations there is another way of translating “egeneto” that is pregnant with meaning. It is the wonderful phrase “And it came to pass”. Matt 7:28 “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended…” or Mark 1:9 “And it came to pass in those days…”.
When Sue was much younger, a teenager in fact, in common with many youngsters she could get herself a little worried about events that were going on in her life. Her mum and dad, in Christian ministry themselves, had a favourite piece of advice for her – it was that little word “Egeneto, it came to pass”. When we are young, relatively small things seem so big to us. We allow ourselves to worry and get all tied up in knots. But those who are older and wiser and have seen more of life have a wider perspective and are able to reassure us that all will be ok. Our little world may seem to be falling apart but in reality, it is not. Sue’s parents’ advice was reassuring to her and it became a favourite watch word for the family. It has been adopted into our home too. It is so true.
That piece of advice is especially good for Christians to hear. We can get ourselves into a place of severe worry. Many people are worrying about this current health crisis. But we need God’s perspective. He sees the big picture. He sees beyond the current crisis. He knows it will come to an end. That is the key thing Sue wanted to know – will this crisis pass? Yes, of course it will. In the perspective of eternity this is a momentary issue. Paul puts it so beautifully in 2 Cor 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.
The Coronavirus pandemic is very serious, but it will pass. We will come through it. The Lord is with us and he will achieve things we cannot imagine through this. Hold on to him and let him hold on to you.
A final word from the famous mystic of East Anglia, Julian of Norwich:
“All shall be well, And all shall be well, And all manner of things shall be well”.
It will, because our big Father God is in control.