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Podcast Episode 42 | 16 min

Preaching in the Eye of the Storm

COVID-19 crisis as a crash course in "Trust God 101."
Preaching in the Eye of the Storm

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Matt Woodley talks to Lawrence Aker, III, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York. He shares his experience with preaching and caring for his congregation during the COVID-19 storm that has hit New York City hard with around 4,000 deaths as of April 8, according to the (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Lawrence talks about Brookdale Hospital which has been a spotlight in the news, due to the high volume of COVID-19 patients. He said that employees have to go to Home Depot before work, to get supplies they need for their shifts.

He has changed the tone, content, and style of his preaching, as a result of current events. Lawrence explained this is not a time for the three point sermon. He said "the church doors are closed but the church is open." Lawrence sees this crisis as an opportunity to get into God's word. He pointed out 2 Cor. 1:3-4 as a source of comfort:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

You can help people affected by COVID-19 in New York City by:

  • Donating to World Central Kitchen (Lawrence’s church partnered with them to give food to those in New York City)
  • Praying for healthcare professionals and employees at Brookdale Hospital who are on the front lines of fighting the virus

Related Sermon Illustrations

Seeing God in Times of Trouble

What we do in the crisis always depends on whether we see the difficulties in the light of God, or God in the shadow of the difficulties.

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A Faith As Wild As the World

Speaking about preaching God's word, Michael Heher writes:

Don't make promises God doesn't keep. Account for the shaky ground and patches of quicksand. Don't deny our disappointments ...
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