How Should Christians at ECC Respond to Corona?6
If you even glimpse the news right now, the world seems to be falling apart. The 24-hour news fest promises ever increasing updates and behind the scenes look at every detail of coronavirus. I don’t know about you, but if I let myself meditate on the news cycle, my own heart and faith will be fashioned by their narrative. Instead, I want to be fashioned by the narrative of the Bible.
Christians are those who are seeped in the narrative of God’s story, not the narrative of the news media or culture around us.
So how do we respond? How should we at ECC respond to this crisis in our nation? This post is not about specific details about ECC policy and updates (watch your emails for those kinds of things and check our blogs for later posts).
Rather, I want to look at three principles that we all at ECC should be considering when it comes to how we will respond as Christians and faithful representatives of ECC: Protection, Fear, and Mission.
Click anywhere on the internet and you will find no end of ways to be protecting ourselves from corona. Since I am not the CDC, nor a medical doctor, I don’t have much to say here.
Rather, I want us to think about protection in terms of loving our neighbor as ourselves (Lev 19:18b). Even if you are not concerned about corona, remember that others are and that there is a segment of our population that is more vulnerable to the virus. Part of loving is treating their concerns with care, respecting their fears as legitimate, and protecting those who are at risk. So, go out of your way to do what is loving to protect them, even if it costs you something. Christians have to make decisions not based on what we want, but rather on how we can protect others for the sake of love.
Whether you believe corona is truly a crisis or not (and make no mistake, godly Christians are on both sides), we are called to love others by protecting them. So, do what you can to protect others. E.g., wash your hands, avoid being with others if at all sick. But above all, love your neighbor as yourself.
The second area we must consider is our fear.
We live in strange times, for sure. The unknown brings fears. I find my own heart drifting toward fear when I cease to meditate on God’s word and instead meditate on the news. Watching the lines at the grocery stores causes more fear!
Don’t be ashamed if you are afraid; temptation to fear is common to all humanity (1 Cor 10:13). But don’t passively embrace fear either. Fight back.
Christians are called to fight fear.
Paul exhorts us,
“Do not be anxious about anything…” (Phil 4:6).
Jesus himself says,
“Do not be anxious about your life…” (Matt 6:25).
So we fight anxiety; we fight worry; we fight fear. And how do we fight?
We fight with prayer and the promises of God. Bring your anxieties to God in supplication with thanksgiving (Phil 4:6).
If you are afraid right now, take up the whole armor of God (Eph 6) and fight with the aid of knowing that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to have victory over the cosmos, even the coronavirus itself.
God is still the king; the coronavirus has not pushed him off the throne. Instead of meditating on the news cycle, meditate on the promises of God, like the following:
The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)
The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7)
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isa 43:1-2)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. (Ps 46:1-2)
And so many other passages in the Bible! God is sovereign; he reigns. The coronavirus has not surprised him. You can trust the faithful God and Father of Jesus Christ to do what is good and wise – always. Meditate on these things, not on the coronavirus news.
God’s people are called to represent him throughout the world. We are his image, statues declaring God’s sovereignty and kingship. As a result, Christians are called not to move away from trouble, but to move toward it. Wherever there is trouble, Christians are to bring peace. Even with the coronavirus.
Right now, our world is afraid; the great country of the United States has been humbled by a microscopic virus. What if God is doing something great through this? Actually, the testimony of Scripture insists that he, indeed, is!
I urge us at ECC to put on our God-glasses. Let’s be looking for how we can represent Him during this crisis in our community. Watch for ways you can love and serve your non-Christian neighbor. Be the people who bring peace, who offer hope to the downcast.
Not since Sept 11, 2001, have we had such an opportunity to meet people in their most vulnerable moment of fear and uncertainty. Christians have a story to tell that satisfies these deepest fears: God is king of this world and is reconciling us to himself through Jesus Christ. Take advantage for God’s kingdom this critical moment in the lives of your neighbors, co-workers, and relatives. Be the image of God for someone who needs to know God.
The world is watching and waiting to see how the Church responds. The world is looking for the Church to lead us through this crisis. In every crisis of every age, it has been the Church that showed the way through.
Even the coronavirus is in submission to Jesus Christ; let’s love others toward seeing that they too can find peace in submitting to God’s good kingship.