Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I bring you greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, our saviour, who died to give us new life in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father, who loves us with an eternal unconditional love.

As we recover from the challenges, trials and trauma of the last 18 months of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect on the lives lost, jobs lost, livelihoods lost, relationships lost, tranquillity lost and for some earthly paradise lost.  We pray for the Lord to comfort the bereaved, give grace to the informed and grant that the souls of the faithful departed rest in Christ.

The travails of COVID-19 remind me of the experiences of the disciples of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, death and resurrection from the dead.  They were distraught, broken, frightened, disillusioned and depressed, so they went into lockdown.  The disciples of Jesus had a lockdown at different levels ― emotional, physical and psychological. It was also spiritual in their distance from God and his purposes for them at that time.  Thank God for his unconditional love for us, in that even when we are unfaithful, ungrateful, rebellious, distant and in sin, he continues to love us with unimaginable passion through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8).

Thank God the resurrection of Christ happened after his crucifixion and that confirms to us that God can bring new life out of death.  The risen Christ appeared to his disciples at Easter and they were filled with the Spirit, and at Pentecost they overflowed with the power after the Holy Spirit was poured upon them (Acts 2).  Then those men and women believers in Jesus Christ became passionate witnesses of Jesus Christ and preached the gospel even in the face of threats to their lives.  They built back better and stronger, giving birth to the Church that today boasts of more than 1.5 billion followers worldwide.

As we emerge from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I encourage us to remember that the Spirit that worked in the disciples, bringing them out of lockdown and turning them into passionate witnesses, calls us today as modern disciples and followers of Jesus Christ to build back better and stronger. He encourages us to be passionate witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ caring for God’s creation, caring for the salvation of our fellow humanity through Christ, caring for racial justice, caring for social equality, caring for the elderly, caring for the environment as diligent stewards of God who calls us to participate in Missio Dei ― God’s mission in the world.

This is our call to build back better and stronger prayerfully, theologically and missiologically through Jesus Christ. So, do not fret but stay focused on God’s love for you through Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit as we go forward.

Blessings to you all in Christ,

Bishop Karowei