By Darren Lim, reprinted from the Salt & Light Australia Daily Devotional.
As many of our Salt & Light contributors have written about this week the effects of COVID-19 on our society as a whole have been quite far reaching – even more so than a lot of us (certainly myself) may have initially anticipated. In many ways the unanticipated impacts have been less about the virus spread and health concerns of the disease, and more about how we as a community of people have responded to the challenges posed to living out our day-to-day lives.
It goes without saying that each of us have a duty of care to our family, friends and loved ones – to keep them safe, sheltered and protected from harm. However, when the impacts of the choices we make can have such immediate consequences to others around us, it would be fair to say that we also have a duty as Christians to be wise with our actions, and do our best to demonstrate Christ’s sacrificial love for others.
In Mark 12:30-31 Jesus responds to a question from the teachers of Jewish law about which commandment he considers to be the greatest. He responds:
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.
There are those around us who will find it more difficult to get basic food and supplies in a period where supermarkets are struggling to keep up with demand, those who are considered more at-risk of contracting illnesses and facing complications due to the impact of COVID-19 on our healthcare system. I don’t believe it is too much of a stretch to suggest that loving our neighbors in our current social environment requires that we consider the needs of others equal and (where it makes sense) more important than our own. Practically this will mean different things to different people, I would only encourage us to be wise with our choices.
Today my hope is that we continue to be the church to those most impacted by what is happening around us and that in every decision we make we are considerate of those who are more vulnerable than us. Let’s be an example of love and sacrifice to our community, as those who have first been loved and saved by Christ.