TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN NORTH EAST INDIA

 

The pandemic caused by Corona Virus, also known as COVID-19 or nCov, is now gripping the world with fear, and it has arrived in our own lands too. How long this phenomenon is going to disrupt what we’ve always understood as normal life is undeterminable at this stage. Its impact will be huge in all areas of life, especially in the socio-economic sphere. The challenge before us as Christians is at its zenith to brighten the corner wherever we are, to serve the needy and also protect ourselves, our family and others from this dreaded disease. In these trying times, let’s learn to look unto God and hope in him for better days ahead, as we perform our present duties and responsibilities faithfully and selflessly. It may help us to reflect on the following points:

 

  1. Let’s continuously remind ourselves that we are in the hands of Almighty and Omnipotent God. Scripture tells us that even the hairs of our head are counted (Lk. 12:7), not a sparrow falls outside the Father’s care (Mt. 10:29), and that we are much more valuable than animals and birds (Mt.6:25-34). He’s got the whole world in his hand and He’s in control. Our God shall supply all our need in Christ Jesus our Lord (Phil. 4:19). Avoid panic, don’t be anxious, but rather stand up to face the situation head on with faith and courage.

 

  1. Let’s remember that everything happens for a reason, and there is divine purpose in every circumstance. ‘All things work together for good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.’(Rom. 8:28). Our most painful experiences, and hardest difficulties will be causes of our greatest joy at the feet of our Lord. In Him, everything is alright at the end, if it’s not alright right now, let’s understand that it’s not the end yet. And He is making His presence felt at every point in the present for those who look up to Him (Ps. 23:4; 46:1).

 

  1. It is in dark times such as this that the Christian’s identity as the ‘salt’ and the ‘light’ of the world manifest most prominently (Mt. 5:13). The best time to show the world the Christian values of integrity, love, service and sacrifice could be now (Mk. 10:45). These are the times when we, as ministers should show to the world that we are ministers of God, as missionaries that we are doing mission with and of God, as shepherds that we are willing to sacrifice our lives for the sake of our flock, as the people of God that we are different when it really matters (Col. 3:23f).

 

  1. The hard times are opportune moments for us to establish the fact of our commitment to the society as a whole (Jer. 29:7). Let’s remember our Christian duty to be responsible citizens. We are all expected to support the civil authority in its endeavour to contain the disease, behave in proper manner and play proactive role as responsible members of the society (Titus 3:1). Any form of discrimination on the basis of religion, community, class or colour should have no place in our service to the society as a whole (I Tim. 2:1).

 

  1. The scale at which this virus has shaken the society and government is unprecedented in recent history. The cost of fighting against this terrible virus is going to be very high. It is understood that a country like ours is going to face financial constraint soon. The poor north eastern states could not be expected to escape this predicament. We shall do well to pull our resources together, as individuals and organizations (Prov. 3:27; Rom. 12:13). Churches are encouraged to utilize their funds for the good of all in these times of crisis. Please share your resources (Mt. 10:8; II Cor. 9:7).

 

  1. We Christians are indwelt, not by the spirit of fear, but by the Spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (II Tim. 1:7). This truth has much bearing on the situation we are in today. Let’s not our actions be outcomes of fear, panic or anxiety, but let it rather be outflows of love (the positive feeling for others), demonstration of power (the ability to do God’s will at all circumstances), and self-control (the capacity to arrange our life usefully). The work of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives is needed now more than ever (Zech. 4:6).

 

  1. Let’s keep on praying at all times (Eph. 6:18): for comfort and strength to the relatives of those who have succumbed to this virus attack; for speedy recovery of patients who are suffering in pain right now; for strength, motivation, and protection of the medical teams who are exposed to the deadly virus every day; for wisdom and skill for civil authorities to handle the situation in the most fruitful way; and for those who are working hard without rest to find the cure for this dreaded virus.

 

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).