Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The theme of our Lent Reflections does have some relevance to the covid-19 outbreak, which is still in early stages in our country, but is likely to develop. While the authorities are taking sensible steps to inform, advise and attempt to control its progress, we know that the approaching wave is carrying a lone surfer – fear.
I remind myself of this verse:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 (NIV)
It's always good to meditate on this when fear starts knocking at the door. John interestingly also links fear with punishment. This reminds me of the plagues God sent on Egypt, sent as warning and punishment. They were God-ordained. This leads me to consider the source of this current pandemic – I'm not suggesting anything, but while I asked on Thursday's reflection whether AIDS was a punishment sent by God, could I now swap in covid-19? Again, I'm not wanting to suggest anything. My main concern is to seek to know where God is in all of this, and how the Church and Christians might respond.
Unlike those who live in the world and have no vision beyond the earthly we have a direct line to Father God in prayer:
Father God, we are aware of the devastation that a pandemic can wreak. We hold our nation before you, praying that you will keep us safe from the major effects of the outbreak. As the Israelites in Egypt daubed the blood of the Passover lamb on their lintels and doorposts to protect them from God's Angel of Death, so we claim the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus our Saviour, over our homes and families. We pray this In his name. Amen.