What needs to be the Christian response during a pandemic? The first thing that all followers of Christ should remember is that the Father is a “refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). If we believe that, then we should not be panicking at all. The God we believe in is an ever-present, all-knowing, omnipotent God.
The Christian response during pandemic
Reverend Charles Sheldon wrote a novel In His Steps in 1896, which ignited the What Would Jesus Do movement at the beginning of the 21st Century. This can be a starting point for all of us when we are trying to think about how to move forward. We always have to be mindful that we have the Lord Jesus in our consciousness when we are approaching any issue.
Jesus commanded us in Mark 12:31 that we need to love our neighbors like ourselves. In Luke 6:31, He reinforced saying, “… to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This implies that we need to take care of our fellow Christians and citizens by protecting them as best we can. According to experts, the virus has a much higher chance of affecting people if we do not maintain the social distancing guidelines. Even if we are asymptomatic, we can affect other humans. To make sure that we are in no way affecting any other individual negatively, we need to follow the guidelines too.
What else would Jesus do?
Well, we can assume that He would seek to provide assistance and comfort to those who are coping with the economic, emotional, and physical trauma due to the virus. He would be tending to the sick where He could and providing comfort to those who lose a loved one.
The projections of the virus show that a huge percentage of the population can become infected, and it can prove to be fatal. During this time, there will be many opportunities to assist our family, friends, and neighbors. That is certainly what our Lord would have done too.
Even if you don’t think you are at risk of the disease, being young or healthy, you could be putting someone at risk if you don’t follow social distancing orders. Jesus would never put anyone at risk and would have recommended that disciples follow the directives by the medical community to prevent the pandemic.
The Christian response during a pandemic would not be to disregard medical advice or engage in any behavior that is inherently risky. Presuming that God will protect us will mean that we are committing the Sin of Presumption. In Matthew 4:7, when Jesus was confronted by the Devil in the wilderness, He replied, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
When health authorities are recommending that public gatherings should not occur and the Church disregards these recommendations, it will be a presumption (as well as breaking the law).
The Christian response during a pandemic should be to show empathy and kindness during this trying time. You can check up on your loved ones, read scripture, listen to online sermons, pass on some God-loving music, and follow recommendations by health professionals.