OUR RESPONSE TO COVID 19

READINGS


My dear people of God, a pandemic has befallen us. In Old Testament days, this would qualify as a plague, something that calls for deep reflection on who we are and how we are with our God and with our neighbor. With our society more secular and our advances in science far more sophisticated, we may easily fall into the temptation of seeing this pandemic with purely humanistic eyes, without much regard to its spiritual implications. More still, we may be tempted to look only upon human ingenuity in search for a cure to this virus, negating the spiritual powers we can tap into. What I am saying is that, because we are spirit and body, it is very important that our response, as Christians, to Covid-19, both in the effort to stop its spread and to find a cure or vaccine, needs to be comprehensive—using extreme measures to deal with it, both from the human level and from a spiritual perspective. The Bible has a lot to say about plagues, and I believe we can draw counsel from the word of God as to how we should respond to this current crisis.


On the humanistic level, we must respond in such a way as to not presume God or let alone tempt Him. The second temptation of Christ in the desert by the devil was the suggestion that Christ should jump from the pinnacle of the temple, under the pretext that God will send His angels to hold him up so that he may not break a leg. Christ countered by this quote: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God”. It is important that we exercise prudence, maximum caution, and common sense in reducing the avenues of spread for this virus. Doctors and governmental agencies have provided us with guidelines—be more diligent with washing your hands and wiping them off with sanitizers, avoid touching your face and nose after touching public facilities, minimize exposure to large crowds, cut back on public entertainment activities, limit unnecessary travel, keep at least 3 feet of social distance with others, avoid going out to restaurants and bars, if you get flu-like symptoms, consult your doctor and self-quarantine, store a few more supplies just in case, etc. It is important that we remember that belonging to God does not exempt us from human experience. We must exercise prudence and caution even as we exercise our faith.


The second avenue of response is to seek the face of God”. It will be a grave mistake if we, as a nation, fall into the pride of thinking that we can handle this matter only with our great scientific advancements and experience; negating the grave need to fall on our knees and pray. I am reminded of God’s word where it says, "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, Top of Form or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles. 7:13-15). Many events in our lives happen as a wake-up call. A pandemic, such as we are suffering now should remind us of our mortality, the limitedness of material things as a source of happiness, the need to be reconciled with God and with one another, and the need to be ready to go back to the Lord, just in case. Who knew, a month ago that this is where we will be? Who knows what will happen tomorrow? it is important that we do more than put on masks and wash our hands; it is important that we seek the Lord for His solutions, for His wisdom, His guidance, His forgiveness, His strength, and His power to work out things in our lives. It is important that we seek the right relationship with God and with one another.


If a crisis like this can cause people to turn to God and receive eternal life, something very good has come out of it. Let us pray that the good Lord shall surely deliver us from this perilous pestilence. Let us pray that the Body and Blood of Jesus will cover us with Its redemptive power. Let us pray that because we have made the Lord our refuge and strength, and the Most High our dwelling place, no evil shall befall us nor shall any plague come near our dwellings. May the Lord give His angels charge over us, to keep us in all His ways.

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