COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Notice
Last Updated: Friday 13 March
Re:Hope Belfast Family,
I have no doubt that you have been tracking along with the news as COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to spread around the world.
Firstly let me say this, we have no reason to be filled with fear during this time. As Andy Crouch says in his blog post on the Coronavirus 'The only thing to fear, as Jesus said, is the one who can cast body and soul into hell. But we have been rescued from that fear, and having been rescued there is truly nothing that can separate us from the love of God.'
I was in Tesco this week and in the midst of all the empty shelves, the panic buying I was surrounded by people who Jesus deeply loves. The lady who served me at the checkout said to me, "it's worse than Christmas as people aren't filled with hope and joy, they are gripped by worry".
2 Timothy 1:7 says:
FOR GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR,
BUT OF POWER AND OF LOVE AND OF A SOUND MIND.
In the middle of this situation, where we are surrounded by people who are fearful and anxious we believe that the Church are called by God to be beacons of light to the world. You and I get to be carriers of the Good News of the gospel which calls us to live with a different spirit. And so let's be a people who live from a spirit of confidence and faith in our good Father, rather than a place of fear.
3 things to encourage you to do in the upcoming days and weeks:
Firstly let's be a people who pray.
'DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERY SITUATION AND PETITION,
WITH THANKSGIVING, PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD.'
Let's ask God to bring healing and to end the spread of this virus.
2) LOOK OUT FOR OTHERS
Let's be mindful of those around us. Our neighbours, family and friends. How can you express the love of Jesus to those around you as you are filled with the hope that comes from knowing Jesus?
Are people around you worried and anxious? Think about how you can loving and caring in how you speak to them to offer them gentle encouragement.
3) BE WISE
Let's do what we can to listen to the advice of health professionals and let us take precautions.
Make sure that you are regularly washing your hands and if you are sick take measures to keep yourself away from others.
Don't panic buy and stockpile food and other items, as you do this you might be taking items away from those who desperately need them. Let us seek to do what we can to be generous with others in these testing times.