MAR 15: LIVING AS CHRISTIANS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

By Pastor Charles Lee

What an interesting and extraordinary time we live in. A lot has changed since last Sunday. With the announcement on Thursday that Ontario public schools are all shutting down until April 5, with sporting events, concerts, conferences being cancelled, and stock markets plummeting, many people are living under fear and panic. COVID-19, now declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic, is doing something to humanity on a global scale. I believe that God is using this tiny micro-organism to awaken us, to humble us and to renew us.

Coronavirus is one more reminder that we live in the world of sickness, sin, suffering and death. And no human being is immune from them. The good news we believe, however, is that God never left us in our sickness, sin, suffering and death. Jesus entered into our broken reality; he came to heal our ultimate sickness—that is, sin. And he went to the cross to die for our sins. One pastor-theologian comments: “Our biggest concern in life is not sickness, it is sin. By all means, let’s do all we can to limit the spread of physical disease. But our precautions against vice should be even more than our precautions against a virus.”

In moments like these when people are living under fear of death and disease, our faith in Christ shines even brighter. We are people who have faith in the One who overcame death through resurrection. We have resurrection-hope in Christ. Christians are marked by hope in the midst of hopelessness, boldness in the midst of fear, generosity in the midst of greed. And our hope, boldness and generosity flow out of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We sing, “From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand. Till He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”

We are people who are marked with peace and poise in the midst of pain and problems. We can be shaken up a bit, but when we come to our senses and remember who we are, whose we are, we find peace that surpasses our understanding and circumstances. We are Christians who believe in Christ and belong to Christ, in whom we already have eternal life. As Paul confesses, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Phil 1:21, 23). The life we live is really a bonus that we get to live for God’s glory and to bless the people in this broken world. So, let’s be a blessing by caring for those who are suffering, serving and sacrificing. Let’s be ready to share the hope that we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s not fall into the mode of self-preservation but live in the mode of self-giving.

I believe we are living through a challenging season as a society. But it is also a great opportunity for us as a church. In this challenging season, we not only cherish the gospel even more, but also share the beauty of the gospel through our life and action. Let’s seize the missional opportunity given to us by the virus. In moments like these when people are stocking up on toilet paper, sanitizers and pasta, let’s be generous and bless those who are in need and pray for those who are serving and suffering. The gospel shines brighter in times of crisis and difficulty. Let us arise and shine the light of the gospel.

This week’s bible reading plan:

Sun: Exodus 26, John 5 Thu: Exodus 30, John 9
Mon: Exodus27, John 6 Fri: Exodus 31, John 10
Tue: Exodus 28, John 7 Sat: Exodus 32, John 11
Wed: Exodus 29, John 8 Sun: Exodus 33, John 12