Corona – the new and the old

“That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” — Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NKJV)

The new and the old, the good and the bad

We’re all familiar with the term ‘Corona’ and it conjures many different images for different people. For many people it is something completely new, and the way the pandemic has affected the whole world is something completely new for our generation and our time. Never before, in living memory, has the world been affected in the way it has been – both in terms of our health and our wealth. The death toll has been staggering, and the economic effects devastating. 

But there is nothing new under the sun, or so the Bible tells us. Really?

My childhood memories of Corona was collecting the uniquely shaped and decorated bottle of Corona that had been thrown out from passing cars along the road near to where we lived. I did not have an altruistic motive, I wasn’t picking up litter to improve the environment. No – each bottle came with a value – 10 pence, if I remember correctly, for each bottle returned to the shop for recycling! I could usually collect enough empty bottles to exchange for one whole full one! 

Alas, Corona bottles are no longer available, and therefore all I have are good memories of an old product: something old, and something good.

Of course, as the years went by, a new Corona appeared – Corona Extra, no less, an alcoholic lager. Something good? Or something bad? It depends on your point of view and what your experiences with alcohol  have been. If you’re an alcoholic, it’s bad; if you’re a social drinker, who only has a beer or two at a time, it can be considered good. A relaxing and refreshing drink. No refunds on the bottles, though! Something new (although it’s been around for a while now) and something either good or bad, depending on your viewpoint.

So, we have two types of Corona bottles. An old Corona, and a new Corona. 

But now, we have another new Corona – the Coronavirus which has ravaged the earth, rampaging across continents and ruining lives. Nobody is immune, no-one is exempts; it pays no respect to boundaries, status or importance. The UK Prime Minister and now the President of the United States have succumbed. 

It looks innocuous – a fluffy ball of badness – under the electron microscope. It has never been seen before, at least in this particular form. And it’s fluffiness masks its menace. Death and destruction go before, like we have never seen before. It is alien to this generation. We have never seen the likes of the plague or leprosy, which have afflicted past generations. We have known smallpox and polio, but even they have been relegated to the history books, and almost – if not completely – eradicated today.

The new Corona has wrought a new way of living – in lockdown – as we have to hide away from each other in the hope of reducing the transmission. We all know how easy it is to catch the common cold, or the flu, and this is just as easy to catch – but with devastating consequences for many.

And the consequences have reached far beyond the individual and their families. Communities and the whole fabric of society has not been immune – isolation has affected our mental health and well-being, and our hope for the future. The younger generation has suffered in terms of their schooling and education, let alone in their growing and learning to survive in an often hostile society. Employment and the future prospects of thousands – if not more – seems bleak.

The new Corona is bad, there’s no denying it. But there is nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes. We may not have seen this particular virus before, but past generations have seen devastating diseases, such as the plague, leprosy, smallpox and polio. These conditions have ravaged populations in the past, causing just as much havoc and destruction. It’s just that we haven’t seen anything like it in our generation.

But let’s look at an old corona, which is inherently good. This corona surrounds the sun in our solar system, and without the sun we wouldn’t even exist. You can read more about the sun’s corona on a website provided by NASA.

Yes, this corona, part of the sun, is inherently good. There is no denying that the sun is good for you. When we face hardship, suffering and struggles, it helps to spend some time in the sun. And, as Christians, we all know how much it helps to spend some time with the Son – the Son of God, Christ Jesus – and to spend time with our heavenly Father, the Lord our God.

Whatever troubles you face today, you can rest assured that God is in control. It’s difficult to accept that during days like these, when there seems to be so much out of control – our health, our wealth, our community, our economy; all seems out of control. They are certainly out of our control. But God is in control of it all. 

What His purpose is in all of this is beyond our comprehension, but we can rest assured that He will turn all for good to those who love Him (read Romans 6:28). Do you love Him today? That’s His promise to you. If you don’t know Him today, maybe now is the time to turn to Him. 

You can’t have the old Corona, the fizzy drink; you don’t want the new Corona, the virus that is creating chaos in our world; you might want to reach for a Corona beer; and you might crave to get away into the sun and its corona, sending out its light and warmth to soothe and comfort your soul. But if you want peace amidst the storm around you, if you want solace that sustains you and comforts you eternally; seek the Son – the Son of God. Seek out your heavenly Father, who knows all, is all, and will be all – all you need in this life and the next. Seek Him out today. 

There is nothing new under the sun – your heavenly Father has seen it all, and will see it all again in the future. Trust Him today; seek Him out this day.

May we pray: Thank You, Lord, that as we ponder the good and the bad, the old and the new, we recognise that there is nothing new under the sun. We turn to You today. We ask that you give us Your peace, Your comfort, and that You remain with us until eternity. Help us and protect us this day and always. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.

If you’re struggling at these difficult times of the new Corona, we would like to pray for you – please get in touch. If you don’t know God, but you would like to know more, you are welcome to get in touch with us. May God Bless You.

Have you had your copy of ‘DARE to Hope!’ yet? You can download it here.