Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Seemingly overnight, “normal life” has been redefined throughout the world by the Covid-19 pandemic. Things we took for granted – like handshakes, hugs and toilet paper – have disappeared, leaving even the most resilient adrift and disoriented. Things we never feared before have come to stay for awhile. Adding to the general unease are troubling conversations among ethicists, medical providers and social media pundits about which people are more vulnerable than others; who should be isolated or quarantined; who should delay necessary – but elective – surgeries; and, perhaps most troubling, who should be denied healing resources and urgent care, freeing up those resources for others, whose lives are judged more “valuable.” The elderly, those with accompanying comorbidities, and the mentally and physically disabled are most often considered expendable. Arbitrarily, abortion has been deemed “essential health care” and demand for killing the “worthless fetus” to “save” the valued woman, has soared.
“All lives matter” has become a trite slogan, but in God’s economy, it is clearly true. God is a powerful protector of the weakest, the poorest, the most infirm and the helpless.
“The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” (Luke 7:22b).
Unloved Leah was given children (Genesis 29:31); King David remembered lame Mephibosheth and seated him at the royal table (2 Samuel 4, 9); the elderly widow, Anna, was supported by and lived in the temple (Luke 2:37); lost sheep, lost coins and wandering sons are urgently pursued until they are recovered (Luke 15); Jesus healed men, women and children throughout his ministry; and even in the travail of crucifixion, ensured that his mother was committed to the care of his best friend (John 19:27). Jesus knows nothing of triage; Jesus leaves no one out.
The world often complains about the “exclusivity” of Christianity, but they have it wrong: Christianity is in truth the most inclusive: the Gospel is offered freely to everyone who seeks God, without distinction, without favoritism, without condition – all are valued, all are invited, all who respond may come in to be healed and enjoy the eternal life in Christ that begins before physical death makes its claim. This message of the life, healing and community found in Christ is the message that God’s people have to share with an anxious, isolated world.