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THE PANDEMIC COVID19, A SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Dr Surya Kumar Daimari
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(Few thoughts to ponder over)
What is Pandemic
Dan Epstein, a spokesman for the Pan American Health Organization- a regional office of the World Health Organization has defined the word ‘PANDEMIC’, “A Pandemic is basically a global epidemic- an epidemic that spreads to more than one continent.”The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as, “Occurring over an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”
Pandemic is more than an epidemic. An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at a time. It is an outbreak which occurs in a community, geographical area or several countries. Examples, Spanish Flu, measles, black death etc. But when the epidemic covers the whole globe it becomes the Pandemic. In short, a Pandemic is an epidemic on a global level. Examples, Flu of 1968, HIV/Aids, Ebola..…. The Covid-19 the latest.
Why is Covid-19 a Pandemic ?
(i) Covid-19 is a Pandemic because, it refers to the global health crisis and has become the greatest challenges since World War-2.
(ii) It is a Pandemic because, it has almost spread the disease to every Continent and countries of the whole globe except Antarctica. According to the United Nations Development Programme News, (where Achim Steiner has said), “Covid-19 is much more than a health crisis. By stressing every one of the countries it touches, it has the potentials to create devastating social, economic and political crisis that will leave deep scars.”
(iii) It is a Pandemic because, it has touched the world economic system. Everyday, people are losing jobs everywhere. The International Labour Organization estimates that 195 million jobs could be lost. The Pandemic is disrupting global supply chains and International trade. Nearly almost countries all over the world have closed down the national boarders during past few months. The movement of people and tourism flows have come to a screeching halt.
The impact of Covid-19 is so devastating that it has already threaten to hit the economy of the most Super Power country like U.S.A. It is even said ,- “The US is looming its World Super Power status due to its failure to lead on the Covid-19 crisis—and this time, it might not recover”-
by Patrick Cockburn, Independent, 27 March, 2020
(iv) “The Covid-19 is moving like a wave- one that may yet crash on those least able to cope”. Millions have been infected and over 300000 died. And how much more? How long?
(v)It has endangered the situation of any country as soon as the diasporas during the Pandemic all over the world begin coming home. According to World Economic Forum, India now has the world’s largest diasporas. Over 15.5 million Indians live outside the country, a number greater than the combined populations of Zimbabwe and Kuwait. Imagine what happens if they come home?
(vi)Many of the diasporas (the migrant labourers) millions in number in India from different states are on the road and stranded without food. It’s a human tragedy to see that many of the labourers on the road have died of starvation or died by road accident.
What are the Impacts of Covid-19 on the Church Life?
The Pandemic is perhaps hitting at the pulse of the Church life and its activities. It has locked down the Churches all over the world. This is a disrupting time – disrupting all kinds of activities, inside and out. Apparently seeing, this crisis has ended the model of the present Church. All kinds of normal services, ministry and mission activities are disrupted. It has put an end to the mega-church model. The daily routine for Church programmes such as worship service, youth service, Sunday School, and other regular services are interrupted. Several Sundays have gone without a service. The Church buildings are like empty tombs. In a country like Italy, the Church buildings have become the keepers of the coffins of the beloved. Pregnant women, children, seniors and the vulnerable are getting hard times. The mission activities by itinerant evangelists and missionaries are stranded. If this situation continues, giving and generosity will fluctuate. The economic crisis will hit the budget and interrupt the progress of God’s works.
But can we forget the Great Commission of our Lord?
The Lord our God has said, “ Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you and you will honour me.” Psalm 50:15
I John 4:18 says, “Do not fear…….There is no fear in love”. The Lord Jesus said three words in Luke 21:8,9—
Do not be afraid
i.e., do not be frightened.
Do not be deceived
i.e., do not be misled by false news or teachings. And
i.e.,take heed, be careful, be alert.
He spoke out these words before his disciples while foretelling about the time of the Lord’s return on earth. These are the words of comfort for His followers during the time of horror before His return. Our hope is built on the perfect love of Jesus Christ, because we have been called to share that love with the world.
The Challenges of the Churches Today:
The Covid-19, the Pandemic, is a deadly natural phenomena, a historic societal disruption, that has unequivocally cast both short term and long term painful effects on the Churches, leaving deep scars both in physical and spiritual life of the people. Whether the Covid-19 is man- made or nature-made, it does not make any difference, the Churches are grappling with the untold impacts of the Pandemic and on the other hand, the leaders are perhaps worried about how to combat the crisis and the future ahead. As the people of God, we must not lose heart rather strengthen each other with the living word of God.
Believe that the Pandemic is more than a Pandemic physical disease but rather a kind of spiritual warfare for every child of God that we have to fight with.
It is a spiritual warfare, because, more than body and society, it touches our mind and spirit. Covid 19 is an invisible enemy of the whole mankind whether you believe God or not which can damage not only your body but your soul. We are in a fallen world with full of sinful viruses where Satan is always looking for ways to use it in our lives. It is high time, we remain faithful, get on our knees and pray steadfast without ceasing for the well being of our family and country. Along with all the precautions like washing hands, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing as suggested by medical science, we need to take all the spiritual weapons i.e., the
WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD.
Ephesians 6;12 reads, “
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
in his article, entitled
, “The Pandemic Lockdown is Godsend for the Indian Church”-
says, “…..despite all the disruption and our inability to worship together as usual, I believe the Pandemic Lockdown is being used by God to use his Church in a new way.” Perhaps it’s right time for us to think it positively and take it for granted that God is going to teach us a new lesson from the Pandemic. What lessons do you think you learn?
1. Only God can control this Pandemic, not even the Super Power of the World. God is more than the Super Power. Let us pray that God may grant the man (doctors & scientists) knowledge and wisdom to combat this Pandemic.
2. God has a bigger plan for it than we ever knew. We must believe that there is a God Almighty above all.
3. We the people of God must work the good works the Lord has commissioned and always become the Light of the world. Matthew 5:14-16
4. Focus on the reality of increased community needs, i.e., food, water,….love, kindness, sympathy, a little hand to the needy people in times of need
5. God wants that people should repent of their sins. And this is the season of repentance which will be short lived.
6. Know that Despite Covid-19 or any other bigger than this crisis, people will still need Jesus more than ever.
New Ways to Think as Leaders of the Church:
1. Leaders of the Churches need to begin scrambling to put to new plans and new strategies for the Churches. One door may be closed but another opened.
2. Take oath that we will be rebuilding the Church of Jesus and take the opportunity to give a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.
3. Covid-19 will one day leave us but a long term effect will persist. The world will be facing so many challenges or yet more lethal epidemics may come creating storm of unabated difficulties. Time has come to adapt Hybrid Ministry Model, i.e., more ministry with less money and less people in the field. Churches should utilize the online platform and learn how to conduct ministry on a digital platform.
4. The Mega Church Model concept will either go digital or be transferred to small house churches.
5. Develop new tools online for new teaching models to teach our generation the word of God.
6. Take advantage of all the latest electronic technologies as God gifted and use them for God and His people.
Learn the disciple making continuum through Covid-19 model
Dr Suhail Naik in his article, “
Covid-19 spreads like Nuclear Chain Reaction
...” establishes that this dreaded bug of Covid19 follows the Super Spreading Chain of Transmission from one person to another like a Nuclear fission chain reaction and reaches every nook and corner of this planet. According to him a single patient or career spreads this virus at least to three persons and subsequently these three to next nine persons and thus goes so on. And now the Covid19 covers the whole GLOBE within the span of few months. Interestingly, this chain of Covid19 model is one hundred percent (100%) applicable to the Church today in spreading the Love of God through the process of Disciple Making with the help of social media or other electronic media. Any way we must break the chain of Covid-19 by washing our hands repeatedly, wearing a mask and keeping social distancing but give our best to spread the love of God to all mankind. Stay at home, stay safe and save others.
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