God’s contagious salvation: theological reflections in a time of disease

By Joe Sawatzky
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

We're all connected. It's obvious, but no less astounding, that a virus spreads from one place to another and to all points between and beyond through mobile humans, until all the world is infected.  Similarly, the apostle Paul spoke of sin as a contagion that spread "from one" to "all" whose end is death. But the cure is also contagious. The righteousness of the one, Jesus Christ, abounds to the many unto everlasting life (Romans 5:12-21).

We're at the mercy of invisible forces. Despite the ominous, microscope-generated images of COVID-19 that appear on our news feeds, we can't see the virus. We presume its presence by its symptoms, by what happens to its carriers. Likewise, Jesus spoke of the Spirit as "wind" that "blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes" (John 3:8). We see the clouds and trees, but only hear and feel the wind that makes them swirl and sway. If we believe that "our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh," then we should take up "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:12, 17). In these days, I find myself praying certain Psalms.

"You will not fear . . . the pestilence that stalks in darkness" (91:5-6).

"Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change" (46:2).

God is our salvation. Faced with the loss of basketball, school and church all in one week, our 12-year-old said, "I feel like we're at the beginning of a big period of nothingness. Even when everything else is canceled, church never is!" In this time of physical distancing, the loss of many structures for social interaction have driven us to consider where our "hearts" really lie — in the "treasures" of sport, leisure, education, even religion, or in God? Of course, God knows we need all these good things, even if none of these are the source of life (see Matthew 6:19-21, 32-33). This pandemic is an opportunity for us to reconnect to God — our source, our strength, and our salvation.

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). 

 

 

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/the-hope-series/Gods-contagious-salvation-theological-reflections-in-a-time-of-disease

Joe Sawatzky is a Church Relations representative for Mennonite Mission Network.

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/the-hope-series/Gods-contagious-salvation-theological-reflections-in-a-time-of-disease

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