The outbreak of the coronavirus in Hubei in China has “rattled the cage” of ordered, secure, day-to-day routines around the world, and especially in the West. Hubei itself is paralysed. Visitors can’t return to their home countries and to their regular lives, or work – or, if so, then only to go into quarantine. Ships full of travellers have been quarantined on board. Deaths have topped 1000, and infections almost 50,000; and we don’t know, and fear, where it may end!

In the midst of that, as Christian believers, we seek and pray for two things. Firstly, that we obey the first greatest commandment – i.e., to love God the Father with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. This means knowing that He has loved us and all people – strong enough that His Son died in our place to save us! He has given salvation and eternal life in grace for all who will receive it. We need to trust our lives entirely to His gracious care, for ever, and for now.

The other thing we seek and pray for is that we obey the second greatest commandment – i.e., to love our neighbour as ourselves. This means that we put the wellbeing of all of our neighbours ahead of our own. We’ve seen movies of global disasters, where people turn into “rats”, devouring each other to save their own skins. Nothing is uglier! But we trust God to look after us in His extravagant grace towards us. Thus, we will not be selfish like this. Li Weuliang, the Dr who discovered the coronavirus, and worked hard to save many lives – a strong Christian – died of the virus just last week. That is how Christ loved us!

We can afford to love in all circumstances, because nothing on earth, neither in heaven nor in eternity will be able to separate us from the love of Christ! (Ro 8: 38, 39)

Grace in Christ, Jonathan