Mark 12:31, 1 John 4:19
How should I as a Christian respond to the corona virus, and all of the concerns that I see in my world? It’s definitely a big question for us. And I think our gut reaction is to panic and to turn to self-preservation. How can I take care of myself and how can I take care of my family? How can I protect us from this virus? How could I also maybe stockpile food and those sorts of things to make sure that our needs are taken care of?
Certainly it is good for us to take care of our bodies and to provide for our families and to take proper precaution, but God would also have a see the opportunity to serve each other. Think of the illustration that’s often given concerning an emergency on a plane. What do they tell you when the oxygen masks dropped down from above? They tell you to first make sure you put that oxygen mask over your own mouth and nose to make sure that oxygen is flowing so that you can help others. What good are you if you pass out before you can help someone else?
And so too it’s good for us to take care of our own bodies to try to protect ourselves against viruses and sickness and to make sure that our needs are provided for, but also to help others. And I think that’s something that sometimes gets forgotten, especially as we’re so focused on that self-preservation, we can forget the important need of others as well.
Jesus tells us this great commandment
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)
He really encourages us to love one another as we love ourselves. Just as we want to preserve our own bodies and take care of our own needs so also we should love each other.
It’s very hard to have that sort of mentality when it comes to these things. We think about our limited resources. How are we going to help somebody else? I have my own needs, my own worries, my own concerns. Jesus would have us though think about those important questions. How can I help my neighbor in a time such as this? What can I do? Maybe help provide food for someone else. Maybe it’s an elderly person in my life. How can I go shopping for them? To maybe make sure that their needs are taken care of. How can I take proper precaution with my own hand sanitizing and maybe social distancing? How can I maybe support the medical industry and field?
We think of opportunities such as giving blood and others that are out there. These are important questions for us as Christians to be asking.
Ultimately the motivation for many in our world concerning this is to help one another. And the reason why is this. Well you don’t know if you’re gonna wind up in a similar situation. You don’t know if you’re gonna get the virus or you’re going to wind up destitute or you’re going to be without a job and you’re going to need food. So you better help each other now. If you really connect the dots and follow logic back it’s really a reason of self-preservation that causes people to act in that way. I want to help someone now so that I get helped in the future. It again comes back to me and wanting to protect myself.
But God’s encouragement for us as Christians is not to be motivated by selfish things, but ultimately to be motivated by him and his love. First John chapter 4 verse 19. God tells us
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
It’s remembering what Christ has done for us. His amazing sacrifice on the cross to pay for all of my sins though I certainly didn’t deserve it. I deserve punishment in hell for what I’ve done but Christ willingly took on that punishment for me and has given me eternal life, it’s that love that motivates my love for my fellow man. God tells us that our faith in him really produces fruit, good works of faith motivated by this love. We want to share the love of Christ, not just with our words, but with our actions to our fellow man.
And so at a time such as this as we think about how we respond to the corona virus. Let’s not just think about self-preservation, but think about ways in which we can show love and concern and care for our fellow man. To show the love of Christ that has so changed our own lives to show that to our world and to help each other. Amen.