Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Christ is King (even during a pandemic)

“He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:37-40
The Golden Commandment seems a pertinent passage to reflect on today. The latter portion of this scripture is often co-opted, always leaving out the centrality and primacy of the Lord God. Loving God in completeness is a posture of submission that is contented in faith with all that God may bring into our lives. The greatest command is complete and utter satisfaction and submission to God. Second to that we must love our neighbours — near and far.

Love God (even during a pandemic)
It can be easy to be afraid when the world is roiling in a global crisis. When there is an abundance of misinformation and confusion, what do we believe? Though the spirit may be willing, so often the flesh cannot but help be overwhelmed by the circumstances mounting around us.

As with all things there tends to be a polarized response; in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, there seems to have been two primary responses that are dramatically present. People seem to either be overtly given to panic or they are indignant and ambivalent. The apparent overreaction by some seems to have led others to be unwise in their responses. We are wise to temper our responses to others with the kind of grace the gospel demands. We do well to remember our creator, the creator of this virus, the sovereign God over all things.
“For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Colossians 1:16
“All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.”
John 1:3
We can rest in His grace.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.
How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
Psalm 34:8
Taking refuge in our good Father is a relationship of comfort that holds Him as central. To take refuge in God is to recognize Him as King and abide in confidence and contentment with His ultimate plan.

Love Others (even during a pandemic)
We have a responsibility to be prudent, prepared and kind to our neighbours. We are called to obey our government, pray for our leaders and protect our families as best we can. Let's pray together for one another and for the world as it faces some grim realities associated with this viral outbreak.

From fear proceeds panic, from ignorance proceeds ambivalence; all that remains is prudent caution. We do not wish to contribute to panic, but we must exercise wisdom as only available from our Father.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Christian love is rooted in faith and is not conspiratorial. (Isaiah 8:11-17)
Christian love is generous, not hoarding up for self but sharing with those in need. (Luke 6:30)
Christian love submits to our leaders as they strive to protect the most vulnerable of our society. (Romans 13:1-7)
Christian love is not smug and dismissive of the very real fears of those who do not have the great refuge of Christ the King. (Colossians 4:5-6)

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