As I was reading my Bible this morning, when I came across this passage in Luke it made me think of how we should respond to the coronavirus that's causing a bit of a panic around the world, not to mention our local Costco.
34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled... by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
Because this is an eschatological passage, there are more than a few solid truths that we can appropriate from it.
First, God's people don't worry and panic like the rest of humanity. All throughout history, various contagions have plagued humanity and no matter how technologically and scientifically advanced a generation, these types of things have always humbled the natural arrogance of the human race. And the world panics because human autonomy is their standard mottos operandi and this virus is something completely out of their control. As Christians, we understand that God rescues, protects and cares for us. We understand that He is ruling this crisis for His own purposes, so we don't have to be weighed down with worry. “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled... by the worries of this life." Needless worry dulls the heart and our spiritual usefulness.
But that doesn't mean we don't take precautions. "Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap." Stock up on toilet paper if you think that will help. Don't touch your face with your hands, etc. Take necessary precautions, especially if you're older and suffer from any kind of respiratory illness. But the people of God shouldn't be found cowering in the bathroom shower behind locked doors with aluminum foil wrapped around their heads. When you're sick, you stay home. (And when you're sick, we will soon be live-streaming our Sunday services on our Facebook page. Don't worry about missing the offering. You can always give through our website or app. You can even set-up recurring giving through both those avenues!)
The point is, we should do all the common precautionary things, but always keeping in mind that some virus has no say in the day of our deaths. God has already numbered those.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Yes, we take every necessary precaution, but with the mindset of a Christian guarded by God Himself. "For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth." The general population believes they can control the day of their deaths or cheat death or escape death or beat death. The entire mindset driving euthanasia is simply a false view of what humans can control. In short, the mindset behind euthanasia is rebellion against God. (And if we know anything about history and humanity, voluntary euthanasia will soon lead to mandatory euthanasia.)
Finally, we pray. "Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” We ask God to protect this country from the virus. We ask God to protect our families from the virus. We ask God to hasten a cure in the medical communities around the world. And we ask God to use this panic in the lives of people who are without Christ and without hope that they might find true security and peace and hope in the gospel of our King who reigns over all things.
Even the coronavirus.