We Are Not Living Through a Sci-fi Movie
This post was written by Stewart Gray.
As a child I was fond of sci-fi (science-fiction.) I have memories of running home from school to watch Steve Zodiac fly Fireball-XL5 on his latest mission. There was often friction at Grandma’s home on Saturday tea-times when a gang of youngsters wanted to crowd around the black and white TV to watch Dr. Who’s latest peril, whilst Grandpa wanted to follow the final round of a boring wrestling match. Grandpa usually gave-in. Dr. Who’s adventures were spread over a few weeks; each week would end in a cliff-hanger, except for the final one when the Doctor would of course beat those evil Daleks.
It may have seemed to many like we are living through a Dr Who story, with COVID-19 as the villain.During the past
Isolation has drawn many of us, (and according to news sources, lots of us,) to increased time spent watching Netflix, or other Internet-based movie channels. Netflix’s offering in Thailand features plenty of variety, including sci-fi. But sadly, it seems to offer no Christian-based content. Nope, you won’t even find “The Greatest Story Ever Told” at Netflix in Thailand.
Just like the bombardment of false information amidst this pandemic, we must be cautious when we consume online content, making sure that the sources of our information (be it preachers, news channels etc.) align with the truth of Scripture. Jesus warns about times like these in Mark 13:5-6, “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many”.) Yes, non-biblical sources must always be approached with caution.
So, what about our response to this pandemic as the body of Christ? If Jesus were teaching through this reality, far away from the world of 1st century Jews, what would he do? How would Jesus respond if we were living through such a bizarre Dr. Who episode?
- I suppose my first hope would be for Jesus to simply kill the disease, something like the way he calmed the storm on the lake. Could He? Does He have the power to do that? I believe “yes.” After all, we read of him instantly curing faithful people of ailments like blindness, lameness, leprosy, etc. But, he did not eradicate those ills!
- Maybe he would pray. During his 3 years’ project to save the world, Jesus seems to have found plenty of time for things like fishing trips, picnicking, attending weddings, banquets, … and for prayer. Mark 14 tells He prayed “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” from the darkness of Gethsemane.
I prefer to believe Jesus would be doing something like the latter. Praying. We should respond similarly. Maybe our prayer today should be something like asking for God’s will to be that this pandemic shall pass quickly, but if not, to acknowledge his perfect judgement and righteousness.
As I ponder how Jesus would have prayed through these strange days, I am reminded of a part of Psalm. 66;
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
Whilst we pray through this pandemic, we must not let it lead to us forget the needs of others who are less directly affected by it. People who are hungry, people who have no roof over their head, who are ill, persecuted for their faith, people who have not yet heard the name of Jesus; they still need our prayerful support.
Quoted scriptures are copied from NIV.
My foregoing thoughts are dedicated to the memory of Ravi Zacharias, an erudite servant of the Lord, through whom many have come to repentance. Ravi was called home on 20 May 2020. RIP.