1st April 2020

A Christian Response in a Current Distress

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…”
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NRSV)

Mark Carney, the outgoing Governor of the Bank England in a recent emergency statement said the Bank’s role is to “help prevent a temporary disruption from causing longer-lasting economic harm.”*

While I agree with him, at this time my mind was focused more on our work of living and sharing the Gospel during times of crisis. As Christians we are all involved in a mission to bring liberation, flourishing and hope, not harm and confusion. The self-isolation, hoarding and hysteria must not take our collective focus, energy and power from proclaiming good news, through God working in us, having empathy and showing compassion. Carney went on to say that to be effective and maximise impact we must synchronise efforts, acting together in what is said, and more importantly, done to bring stability. Our temporary focus on the immediate needs and crisis must not weaken our resolve to transform the communities through the love of God, in which we live, breath and have our being.

The response to COVID-19 has once again identified the best and worst in human nature. It reveals our fear, selfishness and short-sightedness. It also provides brilliant opportunities to think about we, our and us, in community. We see and hear of wonderful examples of service and dedication. The current crisis has encouraged, maybe even forced, people to think differently, gaining new insights about how we use our voice, space, resources and technology.

Yes, the times are very serious, unprecedented and interesting, but we can learn from the words of the Governor. This is not a season for fear, despair, panic, false prophecies and conspiracy theories. It is the perfect time to serve, support, comfort and encourage, while praising God. Lets look to Jesus and follow His lead so we are not distracted from being good neighbours and citizens—people who bring hope and peace.

Loving Father, thank you for the example of your Son and the power of the Holy Spirit. Help us at this time to stay focused and be of service. In Jesus’ name.

Study by David Gibbs

* https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/news/2020/march/opening-remarks-march11-2020.pdf 15/03/2020

About the Author:
David Gibbs in an Elder and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Northern England, the Midlands and Wales.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1:00pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 07777-667635
Email: birmingham@gracecom.church

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