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Being Christ to All in a Coronavirus Context

Over the past two weeks rhetoric has heated up with regards to race.  I heard one woman question whether COVID-19 was passed through Chinese food.  I’ve heard from Chinese friends that they’ve been targeted with derogatory remarks (and in other cases physical attacks).  Most disturbing, I’ve heard that the Christian community is not immune to spreading these sentiments.  As we discuss this let’s start with the basic fact that there is no connection between the spread of COVID-19 and ethnicity.  

Most disturbing, I’ve heard that the Christian community is not immune

The COVID-19 virus has caused us to fear for our families, jobs, and health.  It is changing our lives in fundamental ways that are still evolving. We do not know when things will return to normal or if they will. Fear makes us take stock of the important things in life, but it must not control our actions. But we know we are not a people of despair but rather we are Easter people. 

We need to refuse to let fear turn into anger. Anger is unable to stop the coronavirus. The virus does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, gender, age, or race. It is an equal opportunity attacker. The pandemic reveals insecurity in our lives. That can lead to blaming, which often leads to labeling. Labeling is a door for doing harm. Labeling is not for us, God’s people. 

Let us not take cues from a fear-based culture.

So what do we do instead?  We turn to our belief that “God calls Christians to find their deepest identity in union with and in the service of Jesus Christ.”  Let us not take cues from a fear-based culture that seeks scapegoats, but lean into the very good gospel we know, love and obey.

Let’s lean into the spiritual maturity of godly pastors, church leaders and members. Let’s learn from the ebb and flow of past crises and our ability to love others in crisis even if that looks different from usual.  

Those who love are of God.

The Bible says that those who love are of God, but those who do not love are not of God, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8; Proverbs 12:18; Ephesians 4:29). Our acting executive director Colin Watson wrote some wise words after the Charlottesville incident less than three years ago. He wrote, “as Christians, our choice is clear: we are called to love each other, as God has loved us. This is not an option. This is a command.”  As new episodes of racial violence occur let’s do everything in our power to spread love.

Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

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