By: Rev. Ben Carver, Shem Creek Presbyterian Church
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16). Jesus told his disciples they would face trials and tribulations but they need not fear because they knew him. There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in our world right now, but we know God is in control and he is good. He will do what is best.
Knowing that Jesus Christ is on the throne, how should you view the Corona crisis?
Christians have dealt with disease, plague, and persecution since the Ascension of Jesus Christ. Corona is nothing new to the church. In fact, the early church faced a plague (probably smallpox) during the 2nd century AD that killed nearly 1/3 of the Roman Empire’s population, including Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Then a century later another plague arrived (measles) and it had devastating consequences on both rural and urban areas.
The early church responded not by running to the hills in fear, but by boldly helping those in need. More specifically, the Christian church GREW in number because pagans realized that Christians cared for each other and their neighbors and did not fear illness or death. Hospitality and faith in the early church led to the expansion of God’s Kingdom during times of confusion and chaos.
That is how we should view this crisis. It is an opportunity for God’s people to glorify him by demonstrating their faith in the Triune God and their desire to care for others.
Lets follow the example of the early church today in 2020. During a destructive epidemic around Easter 260 AD, Dionysius wrote, ”Many of our brother Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of danger, they took care of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ…the best of our brothers lost their lives in this manner, a number of presbyters, deacons, and laymen.”
This crisis is an opportunity for God’s people to demonstrate they care for others and meet the needs of others. Ask your neighbors how they are doing. Check in on your coworkers and see how you can help. God is on the throne and in control. Trust him and see how you can live for him and help others during this tumultuous time.