We are staring down at a pandemic that continues to kill hundreds of people every day. Everywhere you turn, online and offline, you won’t read a paragraph or listen to a conversation that doesn’t have the word ‘coronavirus’ or ‘COVID-19.’
Today, there’s more reference to these words than there is of ‘God’ or ‘Jesus Christ.’ Caught up in this crisis is a Church that’s struggling to regain its identity as the voice of God in a world bent on insisting that God doesn’t exist.
The pandemic appears to be extremely pervasive (invasive even) to the extent that even those living in palaces and presidential homes are not spared. From Prince Charles and UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson to celebrities all over the world, the coronavirus doesn’t spare race, class, religion or colour.
The world’s so-called superpowers such as the USA and China have so far been some of the hardest hit. Italy as well, despite hosting the leader of the most popular denomination, the Pope, and having one of the most sophisticated healthcare systems, appear to have borne the brunt of this disease.
Some people warn that Africa is a time-bomb waiting to blow up. The levels of poverty and weak institutions on the continent appear to inform this view. However, in my humble opinion, despite weak institutions, Africa could be just what God wants to use to prove He is still in control.
The Bible says that God chose “the foolish things of the world to shame the wise”, and “the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (2 Cor 1: 27). Could it be that God is reminding us that the only system that works is the heavenly system? Could it be He is going to spare Africa from the brunt of this pandemic to remind us all that He is the only one in control and not sophisticated, highly advanced worldly governments?
But that’s beside my point. I feel strongly that the current pandemic is a wake-up call to both the Church and the secular world.
At a time when the Church has started embracing secular traditions such as same-sex unions, God is reminding us that He can wipe out this world with one blow. That there’s nothing in the world that’s worth living for or dying for.
God is pointing our attention to the fact that this world can come to an end abruptly. He is calling the Church back to Himself. Like a manufacturer who recalls a faulty product, God is recalling His product, the Church, to Himself so He can reconfigure and re-conform it back to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8: 29).
God is reminding us that our destiny is not of this world. It’s a heavenly destiny that’s far more superior than this world can claim to offer.
To the secular world, and those who say there’s no God (you know what the Bible calls them), God is reminding us that even the most advanced governments of the world are nothing without Him. At the end of the day, without God, it’s becoming evident that science is completely inept. Whether one lives in a palace or a slum, God is our equalizer.
And this brings me to the conclusion of this matter. It’s time to return to God and He will return to us (Mal 3: 7). It’s time to seek God until he rains righteousness on us (Hos 10:12).
The coronavirus will pass, and like the plagues of the past, it will be relegated to historical accounts. What will not change is the fact that God is calling both the Church and the world to Himself, and He won’t relent until we repent and return to Him.
Innocent Mwangi | Breakthrough Victory Church, Utawala, Kenya