It’s drawing near to 5pm. The figures will start coming in on the latest numbers of new cases and death tolls on the global community. The politicians will soon be on TV to enforce the calls to isolation and social distancing. Medical experts, statisticians and anyone else with an agenda to advance will blog or podcast what they think will happen and what we should all do about it. This is indeed a once in a generation event. A disease that is killing thousands a day being played out on social media for all to see.
Well, the Rev is scared. He’s petrified that 250,000 are going to die in the UK. That will statistically wipe out his entire congregation (average age, 82). He has no means to go on furlough. He’s already behind on his mortgage so no holiday there. He barely managed to scrape together enough money to buy 16 weeks supply of canned tuna and pasta shells. He doesn’t trust the politicians who were only a few months prior, winning an election based on the promise to shut the borders, seemingly reluctant to do it now.
Within the church community, the advise has been to pray for a miracle. The Rev finds no comfort in this. It feels like asking God to help us get lucky. He would follow in Martin Luther’s example and fight on through it, laughing in the face of death. Yet, the few trips he’s made to folk in his congregation with tuna pasta bake, clad in his Hazmat suit, fills him with the feeling that he’s being a little melodramatic and cowardly.
It feels hopeless. Will life ever get back to normal? There is small comfort in face masks and hand-sanitizer, toilet rolls and tuna. The Rev finds little peace in a flattened curve on a logarithmic axis. What does that even mean? The very real and ever present reality of suffering and death has been brought front and centre to our minds.
Yet, even now, Jesus Christ is Lord, “Who, though in God’s form, did not regard his equality with God as something he ought to exploit. Instead, he emptied himself and received the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of humans. And then, having human appearance, he humbled himself, and became obedient even to death, yes, even death of the cross.”
And he continues, “And so God has greatly exalted him, and to him in his favour has given the name which is over all names: That now at the name of Jesus every knee within heaven should bow. On earth too, and under the earth; And every tongue shall confess that Jesus, Messiah, is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)
It’s easy to Rev in the face of Coronavirus. But it’s much better to Jesus in the face of Coronavirus.