The COVID-19 virus has caused us to fear for our families, jobs, and health. It is changing our lives in fundamental ways that are still evolving. We do not know when things will return to normal or if they will. Fear makes us take stock of the important things in life, but it must not control our actions. This is not a “Chinese virus”, but a worldwide pandemic that has touched all nations and peoples.
It is during these times that Race Relations is grateful for the spiritual maturity of godly pastors, church leaders, and members. The Bible says that those who love are of God, but those who do not love are not of God, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8; Proverbs 12:18; Ephesians 4:29). Our acting executive director Colin Watson wrote some wise words after the Charlottesville incident less than three years ago. He wrote, “As Christians, our choice is clear: we are called to love each other, as God has loved us. This is not an option. This is a command.” (Statement on Charlottesville, Virginia)
Fear can lead to anger. Anger is unable to stop the coronavirus. The virus does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, gender, age, or race. It is an equal opportunity attacker. The pandemic reveals the lack of control over our lives. That can lead to blaming, which often leads to labeling. Labeling is a door for doing harm. Labeling is not for us, God’s people. Let us not take cues from the culture that seeks scapegoats, but lean into the very good gospel we know, love, and obey.
During these turbulent times, we believe our “God calls Christians to find their deepest identity in union with and in the service of Jesus Christ.” (God’s Diverse and Unified Family, p.29). Let us not take cues from a fear-based culture that seeks scapegoats, but to lean into the very good gospel we know, love, and obey.