The prevailing situation across the world is evolving every hour due to the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic, which has already been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Many countries have imposed a 'Lockdown' to provide for prevention of the spread of the dangerous pandemic disease.
Today, we live in a world where people are so self-centred. Everyone seems to be waiting for the lock-down period to be over so that they can begin a new chapter in their lives.
Any idea, what the new chapter would look like?
It will be a new form of self-centeredness.
This is perhaps the reason why God has allowed this pandemic to hit us, so that we will realise, and our eyes will open. So that we will get out of the cocoon of our self-centeredness and be concerned and compassionate for others. The sooner we realise, the better. If we fail to learn our lesson now, the humanity will be like the rich man, in hell, where we will then see everything very clearly (Luke 16:19-31 ).
In this narrative that Jesus gave us, we see that it falls into two sections. The first one is about the life of the rich man on earth and the second is about the life of the rich man in hell. What happened to the rich man on earth? He was self-centered! Self-centeredness will take us to the hell!! The narrative tells us is that the rich man did not see his life in 'context'. Many of us fall in this same category.
Life is all about us and ourselves at the centre and even if we do connect with people it is more of a formality or an extra activity. It is not because we see ourselves in 'context'.
Remember, God has placed us in a 'context'. In a context where people are caught in various struggles and challenges in their lives. If we are kept by God in a context, in a geographical area, in a culture, in a language group with whom we are naturally relate to, then this is not an accident. God has kept us in this 'context' so that we will not be self-centred but shall be concerned for others too and serve them with the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
History tells us that the Church has been at the forefront of serving the society during the pandemic.
This is an opportunity for us as a Church, as followers of Jesus Christ, as a community that alongside our prayers, we commit ourselves to stand in the gap, understand the 'context' to promote hope, to demonstrate His love and to work towards alleviating the suffering that surrounds us in Asia Pacific and beyond.
If you really fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture,
"you shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well!
Shall we repent and accept our 'context' as the place and people for whom God has implanted us?
Bijoy A. Sangma
Vice President, APBF & Chief Editor, APBF Digest