Christianity + Corona
Dear friends, it would be much too repetitive for us to rehash the definition, symptoms and origin of COVID-19. I am certain you are well aware and probably bursting at the seams with information, articles, personal stories and videos about this virus. Within what felt like a matter of days, normal everyday events and circumstances were being put on hold and questioned for the safety of communities. Rightly so, many people have been thrown into a frenzy of fear and panic. The virus has almost instantly placed before the masses harsh realities such as the sacrifice of comforts, lack of necessities, and even death. People are genuinely scared and many suffering. Fear and suffering, as you know, is no new news for humanity and neither is it for the Christian. Over the course of human history, international crises have plagued our broken world. My hope is that during this time of "quarantine" you may be deeply encouraged by the example of Christians that have gone before and endured sacrifice, lack and even death with great faith.
These resources are not intended to inform your physical response to the virus. That job is delegated to the governing officials in our communities and we should indeed submit in love (Romans 13:1-7). These resources are to inform your heart, mind and soul of He who is Life (John 1:4) and He who is Peace (Ephesians 2:14).
Christians have absolutely faced the very fear and panic of sickness sweeping across nations before. This article gives detail to Martin Luther's balanced response to the recurrence of the Black Plague in Germany; a time in which "history records...that the reformer penned the great hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God" based on Psalm 46.
Any Christian in any situation, I believe, should be encouraged to read about the life of this incredibly faithful and trusting woman of God. Corrie Ten Boom's prayer life and trust in the Lord, with encouragement from her sister's faith, gives such a wonderful example of a woman who trusted the Lord in the face of horrific suffering and pure evil. Two books I recommend you shipping to your house this week are:
Although it deals with a different kind of suffering, C.S. Lewis's response to the "atomic age" is uniquely encouraging for the Christian not to succumb to living in a mental state of paralyzing fear.
Let someone sing truth over you today. I have found that during times of heightened anxiety, songs of worship help my heart and mind hold fast to scriptural truth. Here is one of my favorites Come Thou Fount redone by Kings (MHM).
For a more current Christian perspective, this podcast from desiringgod.org gives a biblical perspective on the question "How do we make sense of the Coronavirus?" answered by Pastor John Piper.
Lastly, dig your nose into the Bible. Use this time with your family, friends or time by yourself to drink in all the promises that Scripture holds for the Christian. He who authored your faith is also the One who sustains it (Hebrews 12:2). Here are some passages I recommend starting with: Romans 8; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Hebrews 2; Colossians 2 & 3.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13 ESV