Sheryl Haw is the former International Director of Micah Global. Sas Conradie is Tearfund’s Theology and Networks Lead for Africa. Rei Crizaldo is Tearfund’s Theological Education Learning Coordinator for South-East Asia. Here they reflect on some common questions Christians are asking related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Is Covid-19 God’s judgement?
The disciples of Jesus had similar concerns in Luke 13:1–5. Were the people killed by Pilate, or those crushed by the tower in Siloam, worse sinners than others? Was this judgement? Jesus clearly says no.
Similarly, Covid-19 should not be viewed as God’s judgement. God is light: there is no darkness in him. God does not make bad things happen but does work in every situation to ensure good comes out of it (Romans 8:28).
Does having the vaccine show a lack of faith?
Some people feel that instead of being vaccinated we should believe that God will protect us from the virus. God does protect and heal, but he also gives us knowledge and ability to invent effective medicines and vaccines. The Bible contains many examples of people using medicines (Jeremiah 8:22; Ezekiel 47:12; Luke 10:25-37; Revelation 22:2).
Is Covid-19 a sign of the end times?
In every generation, some people try to predict when Jesus will return. However, he clearly warned his disciples that the date and hour are not known (Mark 13:32). Our role is to live in readiness so that we will be found doing what we have been called to do. We can view events such as the Covid-19 pandemic as creation groaning and longing for Christ’s return (Romans 8:22).
How can we have hope?
There will come a time when God will dwell fully with us, in a renewed heaven and earth (Revelation 21 and 22). We can let that future hope motivate the way we live our lives today as we hold on to God our rock, pray for an end to Covid-19 and find ways to bless, serve and care for our communities.