A pastor recounted what he describes as a “miracle” today during an interview on CNN, as a congregant became an early face to the coronavirus epidemic here in America and put his church in the national spotlight.
Clay Bentley of Rome, Georgia, became national news when he appeared in interviews discussing his health status while dealing with COVID-19. His pastor, Alan Mushegan Jr., credits God with the healing. “What a miracle God performed in Clay’s life,” Mushegan said. “The doctors said he was getting worse, but then the Lord touched him and healed his body.”
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The pastor then talked about Clay showing up while he was sick to get into their prayer service. This was before social distancing ordinances were commonplace, but Mushegan’s first reaction, admittedly, was one of reservation as to his presence. But, he says, Clay just wanted prayer, so that’s what they did. “God protected all the people that were in the church that night — not one of us are symptomatic,” he says.
Mushegan addressed pastors who are still meeting in person and said it’s the “wrong message” for the church to be sending right now. “They’re up on the wrong soapbox right now.”
“The Word of God is the Word of God. It doesn’t matter if it’s being spoken with a group of people in the building or if the Word of God is going forth online.”
“It’s the Word of God that impacts people, it doesn’t matter if they’re in the building because ‘wherever 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst.’ Jesus never said you have to go to church, Jesus said go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature.
The conversation shifted to the upcoming holy week, and the message he would say to people who are suffering this week and saying “why me?” as they deal with loss and pain.
“The message of Jesus Christ has always been to comfort those who mourn, to heal the brokenhearted. The message we have to be bringing at this time is to see people delivered from fear, delivered by panic, and to find hope.”
“I don’t believe it’s by chance,” Mushegan explained. “I believe that even though God did not bring this virus, I don’t believe it’s by chance this is a peak week during the time when the Israelites were in their homes and they applied the blood of the lamb to the door as we celebrate the lamb Jesus Christ who was slain for us and as we’re in our homes during this time of Passover that the blood of Jesus Christ is applied to our home.”