The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
Star Wars. The film. You know, the one with stormtroopers, Darth Vader, lightsabers & the Force. Yes, that’s it. Even if you haven’t seen it (and apparently some people haven’t) – you know what I’m talking about.
Well, not apparently, if you come from Brazil. I was speaking at a church service to a group of people from all over the world, including a lot of Brazilians. I had a great message planned, using Star Wars as my illustration. One problem – none of the folk from Brazil had seen it. The films just weren’t a big thing in Brazil – in the way that they are in the UK or USA. Oh, I quickly needed to find a new illustration.
There are very few things that are truly global – that are common to everyone, in every nation. In whatever country we live, we become focussed on what is happening with us – and can almost forget that the rest of the world is there, and sees things differently.
The coronavirus pandemic is one exception. Every single person in every nation is affected by this. You can chat to someone from Guyana, Ghana, Georgia or Germany – and they will all have something to say about it.
It is therefore a moment when I am strongly reminded that God is the God of the whole world. He sees every nation, and every person. He is not British, American, Chinese or Yemeni – he is all of these.
Psalm 67 expresses it like this:
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us – 2 so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.
This prayer is wonderful. It prays that God will bless His people (in this case the psalm was written with Israel in mind – and we can apply this to everyone who knows God). But, and it’s a big but, this blessing is so that the ways and salvation of God may be known in all the earth. This has always been God’s desire that people from every tribe, nation, language & people will return to know Him and become part of His community.
Let’s take this moment, when the whole of the earth is wrestling with the same struggle – to pray that God’s ways may be known in all the earth – in every nation. That those of us who have experienced God’s blessings – may share that with the people of the world.
Deus te abençoê.