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CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TOWARDS COVID19 PANDEMIC.

 

           

CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TOWARDS COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

 

 It doesn’t take much to realize we are living in trying times. In a situation like this, many of us find ourselves asking, “How long, O Lord?” It’s very easy to lose faith and to live in fear of the headlines and the unknowns. But I would like to remind us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus has all knowledge and all authority over the natural and supernatural forces of this world. He knows exactly where the virus started, and where it’s going next. He has complete power to restrain it or not. And that’s what’s happening. Neither sin, nor Satan, nor sickness, nor sabotage is stronger than Jesus. He’s never backed into a corner; he is never forced to tolerate what he does not will. “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11)

All natural disasters — whether floods, famines, locusts, tsunamis, or diseases — are a thunderclap of divine mercy in the midst of judgment, calling all people everywhere to repent and realign their lives, by grace, with the infinite worth of the glory of God. And the basis for that building block is (Luke 13:1-5). Pilate had slaughtered worshipers in the temple. And the tower in Siloam had collapsed and killed eighteen bystanders. And the crowds wanted to know from Jesus why it happened. These people were just standing there, and now they’re dead.” Here’s Jesus’ answer in Luke 13:4-5 “Those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent [He shifts from them to you], you will all likewise perish.” Now, that’s the message of Jesus to the world at this moment in history, under the coronavirus — a message to every single human being. Me, and you, and everybody who’s listening, and every ruler on the planet, every person who hears about this, is receiving a thunderclap message of God, saying, “Repent.” Repent and seek God’s mercy to bring your lives — our lives — into alignment with his infinite worth.

It is true that the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted Christianity in various ways, including the cancellation of the worship services of various faiths, the closure of Sunday schools, as well as the cancellation of Pilgrimages surrounding observances and festivals. Many churches have offered worship through live stream amidst the pandemic. Relief wings of religious organizations have dispatched disinfection supplies, powered air-purifying respirators, face shields, gloves, coronavirus nucleic acid detection reagents, ventilators, patient monitors, syringe pumps, infusion pumps, and food to affected areas. Other churches have offered free COVID-19 testing to the public. Adherents of many religions have gathered together to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, for those affected by it, as well as for wisdom for physicians and scientists to combat the disease.

Therefore, in this unprecedented time of the global pandemic of COVID-19 virus, Christians and faith-based institutions teachings and interventions, can positively contribute to preventing the spread of the virus and serve as a source of hope, comfort and stability. As Christians, we are frequently well-positioned to respond and communicate information and teachings to their communities in times of crisis. The following are recommendations for Christians to do during this period and beyond:

 

  1. Pray without ceasing

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). In these uncertain times, let us remember that we are people of FAITH and continue to turn to the Lord in all things, trusting that He is in control! If the current situation has you worried or anxious, I encourage you to take some time each day to say a prayer. Let it remind us that we are not alone and remain united in Christ Jesus. Let us not tire to pray for the nations affected by this pandemic and those affected including our nation, Kenya, Pray to God that He will provide a solution for the pandemic. Let us also remember the poor families and individuals affected by the lock downs and quarantines, Pray that God will provide for them basic needs during these uncertain times.

 

  1. Gospel Outreach

Due to this situation many more people are at home. The level of online search volume will rise as a result of people having more time and opportunity. Many searches may include an “online Bible study” or other terms people use looking for Bible topics.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, you can SHARE JESUS! Digital technology gives you the ability to reach for and form relationships with people in your neighborhood and around the world. It is high time we interact with non-believers and show them God’s love and Sovereignty altogether. This will be very effective in our Facebook accounts, Instagram, twitter, Email, telegram, Skype, YouTube, Vlogs, What’s up, Blogs and article writing etc. Showing Christ’s love during this time is the most important thing we can ever do as Christians. How I pray that many souls will come to Jesus during this period.

 

  1. Communicate Timely Information

 Countries around the world are enacting strict measures to reduce the probability of an individual contracting the disease or spreading it to others.  Disinformation and rumors related to spread of the virus and preventative measures can be harmful if followed by members of any community. As such, Christians should participate in maintaining a viable communication line with government authorities to ensure they have accurate information regarding the pandemic and preventative measures.  Moreover, we should encourage the community to listen to the safety guidelines promoted by their respective governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone. Religious leaders and communities can maintain constant communication via online platforms, such as Facebook and email and virtual meetings through zoom or video conferencing.

 

  1. Promote unity and empathy in times of crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the spread of xenophobic and discriminatory attacks towards specific groups and communities especially minority groups. We, as Christians should be in the forefront to promote messages of unity and discuss with community members the importance of preventing the social stigma of people and groups. Encourage community members to show empathy with others and understand the virus itself. Ensure all messaging is thoughtful and intentional. Times of crisis should not divide us but unite us. We shall all conquer this together and let us not hesitate to preach unity always.

 

 

  1. Christian leaders should Guide their communities on safe religious practices

As we are practicing social distancing, communities should call on religious leaders and actors to re-examine religious rituals and practices in order to minimize risks of transmission of the virus. Moreover, hygiene is emphasized in every faith; hence, religious leaders should utilize its teachings to educate the community on the importance of sanitation and hygiene. The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the importance of hygiene, such as frequently washing hands with warm water and soap, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

 

  1. Support Your Neighbour

Christian Faith encourages us to be kind and supportive of our neighbors. While practicing social distancing, religious organizations, big or small, can provide resources to help the community, especially the most vulnerable. Work to ensure that children, immune-comprised, and the elderly have access to proper nutrition, health care and necessary medication. Encourage those at lower risk to help with grocery shopping and picking up medicines and supplies for elderly, the poor and immune-compromised community members. Social distancing can still be maintained by leaving supplies at entryways for those in need. Let us be kind and compassionate to one another in these hard times.

 

  1. Continue to serve the community

Above all else, churches must continue to serve the community. Prayer services and fellowships are important for people to connect with their faith. Maintaining a modified routine creates a needed sense of continuation and stability in face of many changes in our ordinary life. Faith is an important support and coping mechanism, especially in a time of crisis and uncertainty. While public worship sessions are temporarily discouraged, religious institutions should seek to find new ways of providing their services. This can be done by utilizing technology, such as Facebook or YouTube, to live-stream prayer services. Radio is also an efficient way of reaching out to the community and sharing vital information to wide community audience.

 

 Conclusion

These are unsettling times; prayer and moral support are critical to the well-being of the believer. We should all encourage social unity through a common purpose. We should seek our neighbor to share resources and amplify our common efforts as human beings regardless of lines of division in the past. Consider partnering with other community or faith-based organizations if you do not have access to technology.

 

 

 

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