Some Christian clarity in the chaos of COVID-19

McCrorie [email protected]

Dickens begins A Tale of Two Cities with the epic line, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Welcome to the year 2020. Everything about our lives has changed: where we can go, what we can do, how we can connect with others.

The term pastor has the idea of shepherding sheep. Can you imagine a shepherd not being able to interact with his flock? Not being able to touch them, to comfort them, to protect them, to bind up their wounds, to feed them?

Fortunately, with technology, some of these roles can be accomplished in a limited way. But the truth is, I miss my people. In some ways, it is the worst of times.

And yet it is, strangely, in some ways, the best of times. I have my entire family home with me, day after day, hour after hour. Life has slowed way down for us, and I like it. And I don’t want it to change.

In the larger society, emotions are running wild. “Stay at home!” “Open up the economy!” These dueling concepts seem to be driving us further and further apart as a nation.

But beyond the politics, people are truly suffering. Many are sick; some are dying. Many are depressed; some are afraid. Many are unemployed; some are losing their businesses. Many are concerned about civil liberties; some are protesting. What does Christianity have to say about all this?

You will not be surprised to learn that COVID-19 is not in the Bible. And yet, the Bible helps us deal with crises in at least two significant ways.

First, it gives us timeless principles that help us sort out our priorities. For example, if the government told Christians we could no longer gather to worship God, we would defy that order. Why? The Bible teaches that we ought to obey God over man.

However, when the government told Christians that, for a temporary time, we need to restrict our gatherings for the health of our most vulnerable, we gladly submitted to that order. Why? The Bible teaches that we should obey every ordinance of government — at least those that do not contradict God’s ordinances. The Bible also teaches that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

The Bible also helps by giving us hope. While Christians are very concerned about those struggling with COVID-19, we are also genuinely joyful, loving and peaceful people. The reason we can have hope and joy and peace in times of great difficulty is because we know it is all temporary.

A day is coming when our King will return. And when he makes all things new, there will be no more sickness, no more disease, no more fear, no more death.

Friend, the most important thing you can do in this crisis is to become a follower of that King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ. To learn more, you can contact me at [email protected].

Brian McCrorie is senior pastor of Heather Hills Baptist Church. This weekly column is written by local clergy members. Send comments to [email protected].