I don’t know where you are right now – but as I write, we are being told by the government and various factions of the National Health Service to “stay at home.” We’re still at the start of the Coronavirus epidemic here in the UK, and have been asked to stay at home for 3 or 4 days now, but it seems that most people haven’t been heeding the advice.
Over the last few days, schools have closed; pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants have closed; yet people are flocking to country areas, parks and of course, shops – seemingly ignoring the warnings about social distancing. Snowdonia saw one of its busiest days ever – and if you know anything about Snowdon, if it’s busy at the summit, there is frankly not enough room to maintain the social distancing recommended. The photograph wasn’t taken over the last few days – that was on a cold, rainy day in October 2017 – it was busy enough then, but even busier over the last few days, by all accounts.
Of course, there’s nothing better than walking out in the fresh air – but only if you can keep away from others – at least 2 metres away, according to medical guidance. If you’re as close as they are in the photograph, even out in the fresh air, you might as well be together in a cafe or a club!
Rather than sharing light and truth with each other, you’re sharing Coronavirus and the risk of disease!
Of course, social distancing and self-isolation is alien to our nature – we are, after all, social animals. We work better in community with each other. Yet, for our own health and for the survival of those at higher risk from this epidemic, we are called to keep apart. The risk might not be yours to accept, it’s those people you meet afterwards that you share that risk with. It’s all very well running across the road without looking – the risk is all yours – but in this situation, if you decide not to take heed of the warnings to distance yourself, you’re dragging your grandmother and your grandfather and every family member who has a higher risk due to a pre-existing illness with you as you run across the road.
The best way to be a good friend right now is to follow the advice – and stay at home. The best way to share light and truth right now is from home – encouraging others to do the same.
And if you’re a Christian, the best way to share light and truth right now – from home – is to share the love of Christ with others. Send a message of hope to others – send a HopeCard if you wish – encourage them, support them, help them if you can and if they need your help, in any way you can. But above all, keep in touch.
Right now, we will all be missing friends, missing family, missing community, missing each other. We will be missing the social interaction – more than we miss the beer at the pub, or the coffee at the cafe – we will be missing each other. We will miss the reassuring touch of a hand, an arm around the shoulder of a friend to encourage, and the hug of a loved one – a mum, a grandfather, an aunt or an uncle, an elderly relative or friend who is dear to your heart.
Jesus said (John 8:12 NIV):
I am the light of the world.”
He also said (John 14:6 NIV):
I am the way, the truth and the life.”
It was reported that many of the doctors in Italy are now turning to God: “We have reached our limits. We can do no more. People are dying every day. We are exhausted. We have two colleagues who have died, and others that have been infected. We realised that we needed to start asking God for help. We do this when we have a few free minutes. When we talk to each other, we cannot believe that, though we were once fierce atheists, we are now daily in search of peace, asking the Lord to help us continue so that we can take care of the sick.”
I’ve not heard anyone else use the term, but I believe that this world-wide pandemic will reach Biblical proportions. Currently, we are concerned with our own household, our families, our community, our country. In the months ahead, we will turn our thought to other countries – third world countries – who have little resources for dealing with the devastation that follows the pandemic.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – He is the light of the world. He is your hope. And as you share light and truth – share the light and truth of Jesus.
May we pray:
Heavenly Father, Thank You that You are light and truth – that You are the way, the truth and the life. May you shine your light and share your truth with us – protect us, guide us, heal our world – in the precious name of your precious son, Jesus Christ. Amen.