Pastoral Reflection Regarding Coronavirus Epidemic - Part 2

How do we view this coronavirus from a biblical-theological worldview?

In the last post, we looked at how the coronavirus, disease and death are a result of the fall. The fall isn’t limited to the evils in the world, but also include all the evils within the human heart that tries to live life apart from the living God. At the same time, God has created the earth in its original state to flourish, to be fruitful and multiply rather than to die, and is even today sustaining the earth and upholding life and flourishing. However, that is not all that God is doing, He is also doing the work of redemption.

The Redemption – God is involved in the making right all that is wrong and evil. This redemption includes the redemption of creation (Ro 8:20-21), and the reversal of the curse from Genesis 3. But He is also redeeming people. He has provided the ultimate cure for death in all of its from through the resurrection from the dead (though through common grace we can delay death and give better quality of life). But the redemption from sin includes the forgiveness of sins and the transforming of all that is wrong in the world, namely the sin that is at the root of all evil. For us personally, that would include my words, the seeking of my kingdom rather than God’s kingdom, and being aware that I live before the One in whom I ought to fear (Lk 12:4) and seek refuge like the Psalmist (Ps 91:9-10)

  • Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (Ps 91:9-10)

But that is not all, there are new opportunities for ministry. For some it might mean that we have more time for prayer and reading our Bibles since we cannot meet with others in person for Bible study. For others it might mean doing things with our families such as leading family devotions, praying with a spouse, things that we always wanted to do but never before seemed to quite have enough time for. We may learn to value of our neighbors more, our small groups, our friends – in a way that we want to bless and encourage when we do see them online or across the street. There is always the need for the word of God to be shared in some manner – for like Paul says in 2 Timothy regarding his own quarantine – in jail rather than due to pandemic

  • Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. (2 Tim 2:8-9)

Paul proclaimed God’s word through pen and paper. How might you share the Word of God with others?

So while this theological study may not address this particular epidemic, it helps to put it into the work that God is doing. We do not know what the future has in store, though we are confident in a future glorification. However, in the meantime, we trust that God is still at work, and may even open up new opportunities for ministries of mercy and ministries of the Word. May the Lord make us childlike to God (Ps 131), and helpful to others during this time of quarantine.

Discussion thought: How might you reach out to someone else who might feel isolated or just in need of a friend during this quarantine period? How might we pray for each other or share a Scripture to encourage another person (like how Paul prayed and wrote physical letters to others)?