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The kingdom of God during Covid-19

A blog on the kingdom of God coming to us even in a pandemic

Written by Richard Serrano TNE Advisor | 01 Sep 2022

The shoot of a young tree growing from dry ground

A shoot out of dry ground. Brazil. Photo: Hannah Swithinbank/Tearfund

‘‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’’
John 11:21

Holding on to faith

Martha’s family home had seen friends gather time and time again to laugh, eat, drink, sing and share together. 

Then one day, death came knocking at the door and took away one of their loved ones. When Jesus next came to visit his friends, he found pain and sadness. 

Martha approached him, distraught. Her dear brother Lazarus had died. Martha voiced both her inner conflicts and her hope.  She was fighting to hold on to her faith while trying to find answers for what had happened.

Martha’s story is one of theology lived out in the face of the most difficult human experiences – evil, suffering and death. She held fast to her ancestors’ traditions and to the deep-rooted belief in one God that had been passed down to her. 

She couldn’t understand how something like this could have evaded the dominion and control of the God who reigns over everything. How could this be happening to them?

Talking meaningfully about God

If living out our theology implies talking meaningfully about God in each generation and in every circumstance: 

There must be more to it.

Maybe we, like Martha, need to revisit our understanding of God’s reign during these times.

Is God still sovereign? Yes, but he isn’t the only player in history. 

Is God good and just? Yes, he is, but we live in a fallen world where evil, pain and mystery also operate. 

Does God just sit there and watch us suffer? Not at all. In fact, instead of remaining a distant king, he became like us, and came to be with us and walk alongside us in the person of Jesus. 

Will death have the last word? No, Jesus overcame death and offers us abundant life now and a glorious future in the life to come.

Following Jesus’ example

What about now, while we wait for the life to come? 

Following Jesus’ example, we are called to get alongside people, to encourage life and to give hope – even in times of Covid-19. 

We need to be there for those who are suffering in the pandemic, especially the most vulnerable. We should be doing all we can to save lives. 

We are called to show faith in God and love to our fellow human beings. God’s kingdom is about relationships, solidarity, life and hope. 

That’s the example Jesus gave us. Will we choose to reflect Jesus in our lives today?

 

A prayer during Covid-19 times

Lord, your people are sad and confused. Thank you that you are not offended by what we do or do not say.

We are in such pain, Lord, but your love is greater than our pain.

May your kingdom, your love and your hope come to us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Written by

Written by  Richard Serrano

TNE Advisor

Richard is an Advisor in Tearfund's Theology and Network Engagement (TNE) team in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

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