COVID-19 | A Short Reflection
By this time, we’re all very aware of the now well-known Caronavirus. Like all global outbreaks the church have a responsibility to really think and react to this. The seriousness of any virus wherein people’s lives are at stake should not be underplayed.
We should do anything and everything in our power to prevent the spreading of this virus in any way. You’ve probably seen the helpful tips by now: wash your hand (up to your elbows); avoid interaction in public spaces; only travel abroad for emergencies etc.
At the same time, however, we should also not fall into a state of panic. Like many other fears, the hype about the virus might have serious and disastrous consequences. These include racist remarks toward those travelling from or who originate from highly effected areas; stereotypical remarks; being self-centered and not caring for our brothers and sisters etc. Let’s not go down this dark road, but let’s support one another, mourn the deaths of those who are most affected, keep save, be hygienic and stay informed as best we can.
I include here a prayer for reflection (via Dion Forster), the link to the Discovery hub who tracks the spreading and facts of the virus in South Africa, an article that might be helpful and reflection and helpful steps by Shane Claiborne.
Information: Why faith communities are key partners in planning for a coronavirus outbreak:
Information: Discovery Hub
Reflection and Helpful Steps by Shane Claiborne
There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “God works all things together for the good” (Romans 8:28), but it doesn’t always feel like that when you’re in a crisis – like the one we’re in right now. I’m not sure what it looks like for goodness to prevail as we are in the middle of this pandemic, but like many of you I’m praying God will show us how to live in this moment, since this moment is what we have.
Amid all the confusion, fear, and uncertainty, I want to throw out a few ideas of how we can cultivate spiritual connectedness even as we practice the “social distance” during this season of the coronavirus.
1) LET'S PRAY TOGETHER. If you are not already connected to Common Prayer, check it out. In addition to the physical book Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, there is a FREE app available for phones and digital devices. You can also access many of the daily prayers online here: www.CommonPrayer.net. It’s a great way for us to all feel spiritually connected even when we can’t be physically connected. Folks are praying it together all over the world.
2) LET'S GET CREATIVE. Let’s find ways to build digital community since our physical community is limited right now. We’ll be exploring a whole bunch of ways to do that in the days to come – Facebook live, Google hangouts, and virtual webinars. I’ll be active on social media on Twitter and Facebook. Nothing can replace real friendships and real community, but we’ll do our best to show some virtual love during this pandemic.
3) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SOLITUDE. Our lives are often so rushed and cluttered that we don’t make time for God, for nature, and for each other. So let’s slow down. Cook meals together. Learn a new skill (I’m learning to blacksmith!) Use this as an excuse to take a retreat or sabbatical, to go camping or spend more time in prayer. Read books. Write letters. Call people you’ve been meaning to talk to for a while.
who are separated at the border. I also just heard that many prisons are no longer allowing visitors, so let’s be even more intentional about writing to our incarcerated friends.
4) CHECK ON YOUR NEIGHBORS. Let’s especially think of those who are most vulnerable right now. Is there an elderly person who may need you to go shopping for them? Let’s turn this crisis into a great awakening of love and compassion.