God and the Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic was ramping up a couple months ago, I read N.T. Wright’s excellent work, God and the Pandemic. During these confusing, fearful, and uncertain times, his thoughtful & balanced approach provides much needed encouragement and perspective. In his book, Wright encourages us to be careful about seeking simplistic answers. In times of loss, we may need to give ourselves and others time to lament and pray.

We are to lament as the Psalmists did when bad things happened—to complain, state our case, and then leave it with God. When bad things happen, such as famines, earthquakes, cancer, and riots, we want to know the “why” behind the tragedy, or at least “what” God is doing. We want answers, and a thorough reading of Scripture, especially in books like Job that center on suffering, the “why” is never even addressed. A better question, as Wright illustrates from Scripture, focuses on the “what.”

In the book of Acts, chapter 11, one of the traveling prophets had traveled to Antioch, and announced to the growing church that a great famine was coming over the world. Wright expresses, “So what do the Antioch Jesus-followers say? They do not say either ‘This must be a sign that the Lord is coming back soon!’ or ‘This must mean that we have sinned and need to repent’—or even ‘this will give us a great opportunity to tell the wider world that everyone has sinned and needs to repent.’ Nor do they start a blame-game, looking around at the civic authorities. They ask three simple questions: Who is going to be at special risk when this happens? What can we do to help? And who shall we send?” (p 31).

This is how our Global Action leaders around the world have responded to the pandemic. They immediately began asking those three questions and seeking ways to stand with the vulnerable. And with your support, they have been able to go into hurting communities with food, medical supplies, and other essential resources to serve those in need. Your partnership with Global Action has raised up Christ-like leaders around the world and empowered them to be a blessing “for such a time as this.” Thank you!

Yours for the Kingdom,

R.J. Koerper
Vice President, Curriculum and Training



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