Today I am repeating last weeks call to prayer for the sick. The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic, the WHO have announced has taken the lives of over 7,000 people worldwide. 900 died in Italy in the last 24 hours....and be aware if you have had the virus and recovered you are NOT safe.......if you then come in contact with the virus again, you can become re-infected with it, and the second time around it could be worse.
I am putting a short extract of a sermon by Joseph Prince at Sext today, about the Christian reaction to the virus. We must FEAR NOT, what we must be is prayerful and careful....take the precautions, as the old Arabic proverb states, “Trust in God, but tie up your camel anyway.” As good stewards God expects us to play our part to do as much as we are able to protect ourselves, while still being kind and considerate of others.
In the worst hit country, Italy, rhere is no panic buying or runs on the Supermarkets, food is still on the shelves, people queue up to the Supermarket in lines where they are 1.5 to 2 metres apart and are allowed in one at a time. Extreme measures but it is working .....one small town in Italy went into complete lock-down, but using this method has had no new cases in the last week.
One church in my home town here in New Zealand is already preparing to take Church online to its members......good forward thinking! I am aware that online “second-life” contains an online Anglican Church which holds regular services. Most in New Zealand will have access to Shine TV at least.
So don’t be afraid, hold on to your trust in the Lord and your faith, while taking sensible precautions to protect yourself and others. 180,000 people worldwide now have the virus, pray for them and pray especially for the medical staff and health workers manning the hospitals especially those in countries hardest hit, like Italy. They are not immune and more than one doctor has contracted the virus and died from it. Pray especially for those scientists and lab technicians involved in testing for the disease and finding a vaccine and a cure.
The silver lining in all this seems to be that the planet is getting a bit of a holiday from pollution, with everyone staying home, air quality has improved everywhere and less green house gases are being released and it has made a noticeable difference, environmentally. Pray for our planet, that lessons will be learned from this and changes made that continue long after the virus has passed. Governments and inventors take note....something to work on while you are in lock-down or self-isolation.
Pray for all those who have lost loved ones, especially those who could not even attend their funerals and say a proper goodbye. May the Comforter be with you, our sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with you all.