Tag Archives: hope

Pandemics and Plagues

I read an interesting piece on our church’s website this morning called the Plague of Plagues by Michael Philips. It is quite long but thought provoking and very biblical and it turned my thoughts once more in the direction of viruses and sin.

I am a microbiologist by training and I learned a bit of virology, as well as a bit of bacteriology, mycology, immunology, biochemistry and assorted other -ologies. I have often linked in my mind sin to some kind of infection so let’s play and pretend sin is a virus. Unlike earthly viruses, this one infects the soul as well as the body.

Patients zero were Adam and Eve. The virus quickly spread through mother to child transmission as well as contact with other infected people and now everybody has got it.

The symptoms are obvious. Paul gives a list in 1 Cor 6:9-10. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? He then goes on to list some of the symptoms:- sexual immorality, idolatory, adultery, theft, greed, slander. There are other symptoms and they all fall into the category of ignoring God, His commands, His gifts, His love. Instead people want to do things their own way making themselves into gods.

Society down the ages has done their best to treat the symptoms, just like we might take decongestants for our cold. It will not cure us, only take away the symptoms. The Ten Commandments were a set of laws designed to treat the symptoms in society and model what cured people might look like. Other societies have laws and customs that do the same. With varying degrees of success they try to limit murder, theft, and antisocial behaviour with punishments which deter many from giving in to the tendencies which are symptomatic of the infection.

There is a cure. Think of it as a blood transfusion. …and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7b NIV)

Adapted from a Image by Ahmad Ardity from Pixabay

If we get a blood transfusion with blood that contains antibodies to the virus, we will slowly get better as the virus is neutralised. It doesn’t happen overnight, but slowly we get better. This is a once off treatment. However, to be totally clear of the virus and to prevent re-infection, we need our bodies to make more antibodies. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to enable this process. We become sanctified. Again, it is a slow process and some of the symptoms take a long time to disappear because of damage that they have caused to our bodies and spirits.

John goes on to say in verses 8 and 9, If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Imagine if, at the time of your blood transfusion, the doctor gave you a certificate saying you were no longer infectious, even though you might still have a symptom or two. This certificate could give you access to places you could not normally enter as an infected person. You could go through the screening processes with impunity. You could even have access to the Kingdom of Heaven which has a very strict anti-infection policy.

I’m sure trained ministers and pastors would pick holes in my analogy, but I had fun. Hope you did too.

An encouraging verse to leave you with as we all think about viruses, infections, quarantines, lockdowns, prohibitions, economic collapse and the like.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV)

Light Bearers

I’ve been thinking a lot about light and sunshine and energy lately. Today’s devotional from our church fitted right into that theme.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NIV)

That’s quite a promise! I am a follower of Jesus. The promise is for me. I will never walk in darkness. I got to meditating on how I can bring that light to others.

How can I bring:-

The light of knowledge to those stuck in the darkness of ignorance? The light of hope to those in the darkness of despair? The light of freedom to those enslaved by the darkness of addiction? The light of peace to those battling dark coils of anxiety? The light of love to those in the darkness of rejection and abandonment? The light of joy to those in the darkness of disillusion? The light of guidance to those in the darkness of the lost? The light of life to those perishing in the utter darkness?

Lord, please show me how to be your torch bearer so that others may not walk in darkness. Amen.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Hope and Load-shedding

The following is an extract from an article from the Jesuit Institute. I found the whole article profound and insightful.

“Spiritually, this experience of the return of load-shedding is one where our tempers are tested and our patience practiced (or not?) But could we use this time of frustration to reconnect with those we love and model what grace under pressure looks like?”

The full article can be read HERE.