Living As Everyday Christians During a Global Pandemic.

We are living in historic days. How will our actions to the COVID-19 pandemic be interpreted by future generations?

There is the bad: The videos of Spring-Breakers disregarding the instructions of the government, and the images of shopping carts overflowing with toilet paper, will provide case studies in psychology and anthropology textbooks for years to come (and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear my now toddler ask me in 15 years, “Dad, we didn’t hoard toilet paper did we?”).

There is also the good: We have heroes of all faiths and philosophies serving tirelessly and sacrificially for the good of our communities on the front lines of this battle in hospitals, care facilities, and shelters. Heroes who work long shifts in densely populated and dangerous environments; only to return home to seek recovery isolated from their loved ones. From frenzied and stressed to alone and emptied – day after day after day – in wake and sleep they serve and protect. Future generations will look to these people as the heroes during the crazy days of the COVID-19 pandemic. And rightly so.

But what would we want future generations to say of how all Christians lived in the crazy days of COVID-19? How ought we live as everyday students of Jesus during this historic season?

In the most desperate times we ought to still live by the most important commands. Jesus tells us what the most important command is in Mark 12:29-31:

29 “The most important [command],” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

In these unfamiliar days students of Jesus need to embrace the familiar commands of their Lord. Followers of Jesus, by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, ought to love our neighbour (if we want to know who qualifies as our neighbour, we should check out Luke 10:25-37. But, spoiler alert! – it’s everyone and anyone).

But what does it look like for the student of Jesus to love their neighbour in this unique moment? For those of us not medically trained, or providentially employed, to jump onto the front lines alongside the heroes in our midst; how ought we love God and neighbour?

There is one clear and simple thing we can do: Stay home as much as possible.

Greg Harris
Campus Pastor – East Abbotsford