Concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) are rightfully rising throughout the United States. In response, many organizations are postponing or canceling events in order to limit the spread of this illness. Businesses are encouraging employees to work from home. Certain states, including our own North Carolina, have begun issuing official states of emergency.
Understandably, this evolving situation is on many people’s minds and has many people worried about what will happen next. While there is a lot we do not—and cannot—know, we should do what we can to stay informed. As believers, we need to approach this situation with wisdom. The more we know, the better we can love others in the coming weeks and months.
To that end, all of this week’s articles are about the coronavirus. As you read, please join us in praying for the church, both here in the United States and around the world, that we would be a powerful testimony to the gospel in the midst of this present challenge.
As believers, we are called to run toward tragedy and not away from it. Faithful Christians have done this throughout many generations. Let’s be faithful in this moment to be the hands and feet of Christ, caring for the sick and pointing people to ultimate hope in him.
(If you’re here at the Summit, our worship gatherings are canceled the weekend of March 14 and 15. Further updates will be posted here: How The Summit Church Is Responding to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).)
–Chris Pappalardo and J.D. Greear
Articles of the Week
Eight Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us, Mark Oden. As a pastor who lives in Naples, Italy, Oden has had a lot of direct experience with the coronavirus and its effects. These recent experiences have led him to a number of reflections, many of which ask troubling questions about life and death. When death invades a nation so suddenly, it forces everyone to begin asking not only, “What is our hope in the face of COVID-19?” but also, “What is our hope in the face of that more persistent virus, death?”
Should Christians Be Anxious About the Coronavirus? Todd Wagner. What we love about this article is how Wagner reminds believers of their charge to love others in the midst of public crisis. Throughout history, Christians have led the way in caring for the displaced, the vulnerable, and the sick. When pandemics strike, Christians respond not only by asking, “How do I stay healthy?” but also, “How can I help the sick?”
Coronavirus Explained by an Infectious Disease Expert (and Pastor), Miguel Núñez. “Along with being pastor for preaching and vision of the International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo, Dr. Miguel Núñez has practiced medicine in different capacities for more than 35 years. He is board-certified in internal medicine and in infectious diseases.” Dr. Núñez offers a rare combination of medical expertise with pastoral wisdom.
Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S., Zeynep Tufekci. Compared to other recent pandemics (like SARS in China or MERS in Saudi Arabia), COVID-19 does not have an alarming fatality rate. And the number of cases in the United States (roughly 1,400) is still relatively small. But as Tufekci notes, we should all prepare for this—not because we are personally at risk, but because our precautions can lessen the risk for others. In other words, your wisdom is a tangible way of loving your neighbor. Love your elderly and immuno-compromised neighbors well by preparing today.