We are experiencing an unprecedented health crisis as the world seeks to address the spread of the coronavirus. Anxiety is an understandable and a normal response to the many challenges and uncertainties facing us. But as followers of Jesus, we are also being presented with an opportunity. Opportunity? Yes! The Apostle Paul writes: "So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (I Corinthians 13:13) We have an opportunity to grow in our faith: trusting that God is in control of all things - including the coronavirus and its impact on our lives. Our hope in God can be strengthened; the confidence in our soul that ultimately we know that Christ is greater than corona, that no matter what we experience in this world, the story ends well because Jesus conquered death and the grave. It is striking that we are experiencing this trial as we prepare for Easter! Our love can be expanded, the love so beautifully described in I Corinthians 13, the love that reaches out to others and has their best interest at heart, the love of our neighbors to which Jesus calls us.
What might that look like? As we live out the gospel of grace and love, we will consider how our actions might impact those around us. I've heard people say, "Well, I'm not worried about getting the virus because I'm young and healthy, etc." Love calls us to place the welfare of those who are vulnerable as a higher priority and we may be carriers of the disease if we do not use wisdom in our actions. Love will lead us to pray actively for those who are experiencing difficulty because of the virus, whoever they may be in the world. Love will lead us to provide practical assistance to those who may experience financial setbacks due to lost income.
Simply put, let's together ask God to enable us to be His channels of love and grace and demonstrate to the watching world the difference Jesus makes in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. That's our calling.