A catastrophe is no time for the Church to begin straining its unused vocal cords in the public square. The Church’s response then must be through the witness of our actions. Actions born of our recognition, of our participation in God’s care of the world through our participation in Christ’s ministry. Philip Turner observes that at this time of a diminished public voice the Church’s greatest contribution to society is its people. “The exemplary power of lives well lived, is perhaps a key way the church models the truth of the life and death of Jesus Christ in the west today.”(Turner, Christian Ethics and the Church Ecclesial Foundations for Moral Thought and Practice p. 205)
Our responds to every situation should be positive. The Psalmist makes it clear that: 1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty. 2He shall say to the Lord, “You are my refuge and my stronghold; my God in whom I put my trust.”5You shall not be afraid of any terror by night, nor the arrows that flies by day; 6of the plague that stalks in the darkness, nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day. 9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your habitation. 16With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation. (Ps. 91:1,2,5,6,9)
We have a father who has us right in the palm of His hands, we shouldn’t be afraid, we should trust Him.
How then in this time of COVID-19 do we witness to the truth of the life and death of Jesus Christ? According to Brownlee, the civil mandate to go home and stay home is a kind of imposed civil Sabbath: no shopping, no running around, no going out to eat, to movies. No making plans for the future or worrying about money. It is meant to be a time of rest not only for God’s creatures but for the land. (Already air pollution is down in many parts of the world). This is a time for God’s distracted and self-absorbed creatures to remember that we are first and foremost recipients—and not the creators—of all that is good in our lives: the land, rain and sun, family, friends, work, and most of all God’s grace and provision. (Brownlee, A Christian Response and Witness in the time of COVID-19) We receive this imposed civil Sabbath as such, letting go of the illusion that we can control our lives and futures. In the middle of our anxieties we should pray, sing, and give thanks to God who has the power over all. Let’s always stay positive, trusting God for better days ahead as life goes back to normal again.
Martin H. Kamaidan
Saved by Grace