Wherever we look in the news at the moment, the headlines are about COVID-19, the Coronavirus and vaccination.
It was incredible how the Coronavirus infection seemed to spread with ease, knowing no borders. The many measures taken by the authorities (some of them drastic) have done little to stop the virus from reaching many countries. Scientists were working at full speed around the clock to find a vaccine. At the beginning of 2021 it looked like we could see some light at the end of the tunnel. But the last few weeks we hear nothing else than postponed deliveries of those awaited vaccines.
Over-stretched hospitals were challenged even more to treat patients and often doctors had to make a very difficult choice, deciding who they would help first, or who could use some further help to succeed that patient recovering. It was often like in wartimes medics having to decide to whom to spend time and whom to leave to die.
In many countries, governments wrestled with action plans to contain further spreading and to make it possible to get as soon as possible as many persons protected by a jab.
Nobody could ignore the 21st century pandemic. The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Since its emergence in Asia in 2019, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica.
Once more in history man proved to be useless in matters where nature comes to him. So many humans are so proud they can do so many things and created such marvellous things, but though they have mastered technologies of all sort, they often have to see how nature wins from them. Every nation infected with the virus had to witness a complete and strict shutdown of the services for a couple of months in order to curb the rapid upsurge in the fatality rate. We can count already more than two million deaths, and the human family is suffering under an almost intolerable burden of loss.
But the pandemic is much more than a health crisis, it’s also an unprecedented socio-economic crisis. Stressing every one of the countries it touches, it has the potential to create devastating social, economic and political effects that will leave deep and longstanding scars. UNDP is the technical lead in the UN’s socio-economic recovery, alongside the health response, led by WHO, and the Global Humanitarian Response Plan, and working under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators.
Every day, people are losing jobs and income, with no way of knowing when normality will return. Small island nations, heavily dependent on tourism, have empty hotels and deserted beaches. The International Labour Organization estimates that 400 million jobs could be lost.
The World Bank projects a US$110 billion decline in remittances this year, which could mean 800 million people will not be able to meet their basic needs.
Everywhere we hear about problems in families on social as well as economical level. In many countries poverty increased. In the United States where the current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and has not been raised in over 10 years, it is really a disaster, though luckily the Democrats could offer some extra money for those people with a low income, who often even did not get any income the last few months. In the U.S.A. a full-time federal minimum wage worker today earns 18% less than what her counterpart earned at the time of the last increase, after adjusting for rising costs of living ($15,080 annually in 2021 versus $18,458 in 2009). The Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which phases in a $15 minimum wage by 2025, would raise the earnings of 32 million workers, or 21% of the workforce. Affected workers include those who would see their wages rise as the new minimum wage rate exceeds their current hourly pay and those who have a wage rate just above the new minimum wage who would receive a raise as employer pay scales are adjusted upward to reflect the new minimum wage.
What we can see and hear is that in the so-called very religious country, where every time people say “God bless”, the majority of those so-called Christians do oppose any sharing with others and as such the Republicans voted against the measures Joe Biden presented to help his fellow Americans.
All over the world we see such an increase of “mine” and “for me” attitude. It is something which should not surprise us. When telling his disciples about events that would precede his return, Jesus listed how children would react to their parents and how people would live with a concern more for their own material wealth instead of their spiritual condition, at the same time having more diseases, or pestilences, as one of the many signs that would be experienced.
“There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11)
Any suffering is unpleasant, and those with loved ones who are struck down by this virus, or affected themselves, are deserving of sympathy and help. But the message from the Lord Jesus is that these are signs “from heaven”. In other words the Almighty is in control of these things.
It was strange to see how much more visitors we got at certain of our websites en how many questions we do had about God’s role in this time of trial. For lots of people it are testing times.
2020 brought in the news a lot of great uncontrollable fires and showed a record of hurricanes and tropical storms all over the world. some countries tried to reduce the carbon pollution but the Artic ice continued to diminish in great quantities rising sea levels, which will be already felt this year in flooding events Earth-Wide.
In many countries, they had the misery of earthquakes on top of the problems of this pandemic.
We need not worry as others do, not because we are somehow immune from this infection, but because we know this is just a stepping stone to something far better. Christadelphians live by the hope that the time is coming when all illness and suffering, endured since the days of Eden, will come to an end.
These days we look at the Old World but also at a New World to come and how we need the Lord Jesus to establish God’s kingdom here on earth.
A lot of people are also convinced that there has come to develop a new way of living. We as human beings have become accustomed to certain actions and rituals. Lots of people thought their way of living was all right. But now a lot start seeing that there is something really wrong with our way of living.
Several people are also thinking the dioxin and other crisis could been avoided when we would have treated animals better. For many there is only one solution facing us, and that is upgrading humankind. Many are also convinced that it is not any more a solo business, but a matter of co-operation, all working together to the same goal.
Christadelphians also call people to join hands to do acts of brotherly love, helping others around us, to give them better-living conditions. From Sunday the 14th of March, 1 Nisan, we took some extra time to look at what happened it the very ancient world and how it influenced our Old World. We remembered that Moses was shown the moon by God and how the lunar calendar commenced and Jews kept following it ever since. (Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Nisan 2021 started in the evening of
Rosh Chodesh or Rosh Hodesh, is only a minor holiday that occurs at the beginning of every month in the Hebrew calendar, it being marked by the birth of a new moon. But for this year it is somewhat special, because it was the opening sign also for the new hope given by the vaccinations and giving a sign of exodus of this pandemic and liberation of the people again. This time remembering also that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And Last year we had enough troubled time, though did not stop to remember who was born and as the given one to mankind always kept being a slave and faithful servant for God.
That sent one from God was nailed on a piece of wood, and with him also the old world was nailed into the promised end of agony. Yes, we do believe and we are going to remember this Saturday the 27th of March how this man of flesh and blood took a cup of wine and shared it with his disciples saying that it is was his blood and the seal of a new covenant with mankind.
“ for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.” (Mt 26:28 ASV)
“23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.” (1Co 11:23-26 ASV)
Jesus asked us to remember that moment, and that is what we are going to do this coming 14th of Nisan. For us it is important to remember how the sent one from God, who always did God’s Will, was hanged on a stake and with him he also bore our sins at that stake.
“ who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Pe 2:24 ASV)
By one man sin had entered the world and now by one man sin could exit the world.
“ Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:—” (Ro 5:12 ASV)
We at the moment are still a lot faced with death. Ebola, HIV, SARS, TB and malaria, are diseases that still attack humankind as well as poverty, that still has to be eradicated the same as we still have to reduce inequalities and build resilience to crises and shocks.
But even when we still shall not be able to come together to celebrate this most important day of the year, we shall be united in spirit. With brothers and sisters all over the world, we shall remember that great act of unselfishness that Jesus did, willing to die for us so that we can be partakers of promised redemption and of his body and of the new world. And it is that new world that we are looking for and are sure that we shall find one day a restored paradise.
While vaccination started in the EU in December 2020, the pandemic is still affecting all EU countries. European leaders meet regularly to exchange strategies and coordinate the EU’s collective effort to limit the spread of the virus and support our healthcare systems. Their discussion focus on different ongoing strands:
- testing strategies and the use of rapid antigen tests
- mutual recognition of tests
- vaccination roll-out
- common approach to travel restrictions and other public health measures
As the epidemiological situation in Europe remains worrying despite all the efforts made, EU leaders keep regularly addressing the issue of coordination in the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in their video conferences and at the European Council.
Christadelphians urge people to follow all the measures requested by the government, but we go a small step further in the safety measures. We still do not think it is time yet to meet with many in one and the same room. As such our services are still going on on the net and not in real life. And this will stay so for a little while. But please, do not let you not remember 14 Nisan.
Take all the time at your home to meditate on this old and new world and how Jesus Christ is our light in these darker times.
That God may bless you and that many around you shall also come to see that Jesus is the right way and the light in the darkness.
Find also to read
- The unseen enemy
- La Peste (1947) by Albert Camus – The Plague
- Not created to be on our own
- Corona season
- Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
- A living Word giving confidence
- What ethical principles do we need in the Covid-19 pandemic?
- Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
- The self and the other in times of insecurity
- Corona part of much too many or not enough
- According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
- In Coronatime thinking about death
- CoViD-19 Curation
- Dependent on imports
- Three basic commands
- Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period
- Thomas Merton’s Prayer in Uncertainty
- No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures
- Effects of the coronavirus pandemic on jobs and incomes
- Eykhah – How can it be?
- 2020 a year of having more idols but also more personal problems
- A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
- Greeting 2021
- Some Hope for 2021
- Lockdown greetings for a newer year
- Let’s make a wish
- Happy New Year. SIGH.
- Catholics facing a totally different Holy Week
- Not able to see Jesus working wonders
- Israel celebrates Purim amid Coronavirus outbreak – ILTV Israel news – Mar. 9, 2020
- Observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal
- Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
- One Passover tradition asking to provide the less fortunate with foods and help
- In a time when we must remain in our place
- Turning Your Home into a Sacred Space
- Paradise restored
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