COVID-19 – A Christian Response

Pastoral Reflections

The world has watched with rising panic as the coronavirus spread, and news of it spread even faster. We see its effects all over; travel bans, out-of-stock product lines, isolations, tumbling stock markets, even the NCAA considering tournaments without fans.

How are we to think and respond in days such as these? To be a Christian has always meant being shaped by a culture from above yet lived out in our concrete world. As we look at ourselves and the society around us, what are some ways we can respond in the face of such upheaval?

  1. With prayer, not fear: When things confront us, which appear bigger than us, the most logical thing is to turn the One who made the heavens and the earth. We appeal to His mercy and grace for intervention. May the Lord enable a hastened development of a vaccine and/or remedy to the virus, natural protections over people, especially the most vulnerable, and wisdom for leaders as they take steps to combat the spread.
  2. In wisdom, not indifference: We do our best to stay informed of the facts of the situation. This helps us make the right decisions in daily life and activity. A few examples are staying informed via the CDC website (you may click here) and other local health authorities, remaining informed on status reports around your local area, knowing how/where to get tested if necessary, and especially continuing to practice safe hygiene.
  3. In compassion, not levity: One of the steps to contain spread is through isolation. Some people are afraid to get tested because of the fear of quarantine and what feel like momentary social stigma. But Christians know how to offer love while being careful. When those around us have been affected, for example, we can show love through doing some of their shopping and finding ways to drop them off safely, avoiding body contact or contact with other surfaces. Some of the most heartwarming news has come out of China where the coronavirus started out, yet where the church in China was reported to have reached out to the sick and dying ahead of the rest of the culture, in response to the plague.
  4. With a sense of social responsibility, not as those who do not care: As we gather in fellowship, we want to keep in mind that we have a responsibility, as a place of gathering, to take steps that reassure ourselves and the general public (if necessary) that we are responding responsibly to the situation. We have had to make a few adjustments in our worship times as a response to the situation. These do not make me happy, but it is from a sense of responsibility and necessity for guidance in times like this. For instance, in addition to some steps during the passing of the peace and communion that we began last Sunday, we are planning to begin using the individual (small, disposable) Communion cups. While these steps might feel strange for many of us, we show ourselves a people responding sensitively, reassuring each other that we do what lies in our hands to keep each other safe. We’d rather not look back and regret not doing a few things differently for our protection while gathering as a body.
  5. With hope and offering hope, not alarmist or enabling despair: There is so much alarm and, sometimes, near hysteria all around. Coronavirus may dominate the news, but we know who sits enthroned on high. We bring our fears to God, then let Him use us to meet the fear and frenzy of the world around us with a message of hope, love and prudence.

This is another reminder that the world still groans under the pain of brokenness. We feel the effects of the Fall. But, just as Lent looks from the valley toward the resurrection hill, so we look with groaning unto the day of final redemption, when all things will be made right.
Donald Nwankwo
The Light of Christ Anglican Church
4000 W. Yale Ave.
Denver, CO 80219