Just a few weeks ago no-one had heard about this Corona virus. It seemed far away in a land we know little enough about. China, a vast nation was involved in a struggle to defeat this fast spreading virus and we were amazed at their ability to build a hospital from the ground up in ten days but it was remote from us and seemed like a clip from the film Contagion. We do not think that now. Italy has been overwhelmed by infection; the entire country locked down with people being treated in field hospital conditions. In just a few days countries all over Europe and beyond are reacting with a fearful hope of bringing this virus under control. Millions of people are making stinging personal sacrifices, losing freedom, income and health. We are beginning to see real people making difficult decisions instead of picture images moving across a screen.
In times past crisis produced an intensity of spiritual life. People pleaded with God to be merciful and a greater dependence on God was obvious. The issues of life had an eternal perspective but not so this time. The general view is that we can get along without God and that he will have to get along without us! I think that is dangerously wrong.
We need to pursue the greatest good which is real relationship with God. We cannot by our own efforts take even the tiniest baby steps towards a good relationship with God. But the Gospel tells us that God in his infinite mercy and love has pursued us. He became a man, got his feet dirty on Earth walking among unclean people and eventually dying for them. He took our dirt and washed us clean so we can be in perfect relationship with him. He has done the work and if we accept him he makes relationship possible.
Is good health our greatest good?Is good health our greatest goal? If it is, sooner or later it will slip from our grasp. Do not lose the eternal standpoint in the midst of this crisis.
Read these words from Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
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Sundays at 11.00 am
Wednesday 8.00 pm
Newry Baptist Church
31-33 Lower Catherine Street