Bishop Karowei writes...
As a nation, we have not seen anything like COVID-19 since the last Great War. The thought of having a worldwide situation so deadly is unthinkable. The government says, STAY AT HOME – SAVE THE NHS – SAVE LIVES
On Good Friday, the Disciples went into ‘lockdown’ because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. On Easter Sunday, their fear was heightened by news that Christ’s body was not in the tomb. Then, Christ appeared to them and said “Shalom – Peace”. So, they went from fear to faith. Christ was risen from the dead and was amongst them. He appeared a week later and said to Thomas,
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.”
Recently, I have been in personal ‘lockdown’ for health reasons, away from frontline ministry. Every time I took a ‘me time’, to pray, reflect or meditate on the scriptures, I was in personal ‘lockdown’. This has contributed to my personal spiritual growth. I have learnt to listen to God, pray for others, read, reflect and meditate on the word of God more deeply. I have learnt some deep lessons of faith in my fellowship with God.
Apostle Paul, in the time of his ‘complete lockdown’ during house arrest said; “even if I am bound... the gospel is not bound”, indicating that there are no limits to what God can do. The Living Word of God is powerful and able to save anyone who turns to him in God’s own way.
Jesus’ incarnation, Gospel, death and resurrection is unprecedented in the history of human experience. Never before or after has humanity seen anything like it. The disciples emerged from their lockdown to faith and spiritual strength by the grace of God, having met with Christ after his resurrection. My lockdown also provided me a fresh opportunity to meet with my Lord and deepen my relationship.
In this post-Easter period, unsure of what the trajectory of COVID-19 would bring, I have chosen to trust in God and pray to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Following this choice:
- I open my heart to trust God afresh, holding on to God’s love for me, my neighbour/friend and foe
- I reject fear, anxiety and despair, and turn each into a prayer (Phil. 4:6-8)
- I respect the principles of the guidelines to save lives, just as Christ sacrificed his life for me. “The innocent died for the guilty, to make us righteous in God”
- I share the message of hope through loving Jesus Christ with others
- I look after God’s created world as a good steward.
Lord Jesus Christ,
I confess my selfishness and self-centredness,
have mercy on me and forgive me.
Restore in me daily the lessons of my lockdown,
obedience of your Word and love for neighbour as self.
Help me to imitate the life of Jesus and follow him more nearly, day by day.
By your Holy Spirit, make me a channel of your love and peace,
living in the strength of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Amen.
+ Karowei Woolwich