People are scared. The Coronavirus, which has spread across the world and has claimed many lives, is scary because it is completely new to the world, and we don't know how dangerous it will ultimately be. Everywhere, people are turning to Faith for answers and for comfort. What are they finding?
When the world is closing down all around us, and changing rapidly and sometimes without meaning or purpose, it's natural that we should look to God, our unchanging, eternal Father, and look to each other, for comfort and strength. And this is just as God wishes it to be.
God assures us that He will grant us comfort, strength and peace in times of tragedy and times of struggle, confusion, and pain. And calls us to deeply love Him and to also love and serve our neighbors. (Matt. 12:30-31)
Many turn in difficult times to the comfort of the Twenty-third Psalm, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
God granted us great strength and abilities when we were born, and when we ask in prayer, grants us the added grace, wisdom, and strength to endure great times of trial.
We must at this time of crisis look to answers consistent with the one we claim to call our Master. The trouble is, there are many voices out there misrepresenting Jesus, often ignoring the very words and teachings of this Master.
The faith that Jesus gave us does not allow us to blame ourselves or our past sins for diseases and epidemics; it does not allow us to blame groups that we don't like, and it does not allow us to blame God for "sending" such things to us.
God "shows no partiality and accepts no bribes." (Deut. 10:17) and we know that God is not in the storms, the winds, or the earthquakes (1 Kings 19:11-13.)
Jesus tells us that God makes the sun, "rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. 5:45.) Our God, therefore, is not a mere angry "storm deity" who sends weather and viruses to punish us. We must reject those trying to sell this version of the Gospel to us.
Jesus assures us that God is our Eternal Father, Who loves us so much that he chose Jesus as His son and Spokesman at his baptism, and sent him out with a mission to preach a Good and Beneficial Message (Gospel) of the Kingdom of God. (Matt. 6:9; John 3:16; Luke 3:22; 4:43; Matthew 28:20)
It is Jesus' teachings, not man's teachings and doctrines, that provide that Message, that Gospel, and gives us our comfort and support. It is to Jesus and to him alone whom we must make our Teacher and Master.
On a Sunday when Christendom's churches are closed due to the outbreak, let's take this opportunity to look back to the actual words of Jesus, our Master, for guidance. Let us use the isolation we may be forced to endure in the coming weeks to re-read the VERY WORDS AND TEACHINGS that Jesus said we would obey if we claimed to follow and love him. (John 14:15)
Jesus' Teachings alone are the light that will get us through in times of darkness.