It is written:
“This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for each other as brothers and sisters. 17 Suppose a believer who is rich enough to have all the necessities of life sees a fellow believer who is poor and does not have even basic needs. What if the rich believer does not help the poor one? Then it is clear that God’s love is not in that person’s heart. 18 My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do.” (1 John 3:16-18 ERV)
Many Christians are wondering what we should be doing during the midst of the pandemic.
The Biblical answer is clear: we should be doing what we can to help those in need.
The answer is not protests and book burnings; it is loving our neighbors the best way that we can. N.T. Wright has powerfully written:
“Actually, the best answer I’ve heard in the last few weeks has not been to the question ‘Why?’ It’s been to the question, ‘What?’ What can we do? In the UK, the government asked for volunteers to help the National Health Service with all the extra urgent non-specialist tasks. Half a million people signed up almost at once–so many that it was hard to find appropriate tasks for all of them. Retired doctors and nurses have come back into the front line. Some have themselves caught the virus and died. They are doing what the early Christians did in times of plague. In the first few centuries of our era, when serious sickness would strike a town or city, the well-to-do would run for the hills (part of the problem was often low-lying, foetid air in a town). The Christians would stay and nurse people. Sometimes they caught the disease and died. People were astonished. What was that about? Oh, they replied, we are followers of this man Jesus. He put his life on the line to save us. So that’s what we do as well. Nobody had ever thought of doing that kind of thing before. No wonder the Gospel spread. Even when the Romans were doing their best to stamp it out. The fascinating thing is that much of the world has picked up the hint. As the historian Tom Holland has argued in his recent book Dominion, much of what we take for granted in social attitudes now was Christian innovation. The ancient pagans didn’t do it like that. Medicine cost money. So did education. And the poor were poor (so people assumed) because they were lazy or unlucky. It wasn’t society’s job to look after them. The Christians disagreed. They picked up their rule of life from the Jews, via Jesus of course. The Jews had those texts, those scriptures, which kept on circling back to the belief that there was One God who had a special concern for the poor, the sick, the outcast, the slaves.” (N.T. Wright, God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath, 3-4 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan Reflective)
Jesus is our Example.
Let’s love our neighbors as Jesus teaches us too.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.