Brothers and Sisters,
Sometimes I find that secular commentators can be more ‘prophetic’ and clearer in their analysis than many ‘Christian’ ones. I recently read a book by the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy entitled The Virus in the Age of Madness, which falls into that category. Like many of these commentators the analysis is often spot on, the trouble is that the answers are so limited – and that is because they do not know The Answer – Jesus Christ. Here are a couple of quotes from Lévy.
“It is the epidemic of fear, not only of Covid-19, that has descended upon the world.”
He points out that in what has become a disproportiona te reaction we have forgotten many other things going on in the world. For example, the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria….
“By mid-April, according to Agence France-Presse, twelve people had died from the virus in Nigeria, whereas eighteen had been killed by security forces for violating the lockdown. Only a few months earlier, I had been reporting on Christian villages wiped out by Fulani jihadists in the north-central part of the country.”
He talks of one of the positives of Covid being how we have come to appreciate those who in our society are not often lauded.
“We experienced real moments of civic spirit, solidarity, and mutual assistance. And we should be eternally grateful to have finally become aware not only of the existence, but also of the eminent dignity, of an entire population of invisible people (caregivers, cashiers, farmers, freight haulers, garbage collectors, delivery workers) who suddenly became visible.”
And how Covid-19 has shown up some of the false priorities of our society.
“The fact that few seemed shocked, at least in France, that books were not considered basic necessities. Nourishment for the mind and the soul.”
And finally, he warns:
“But are we really sure that the changes will disappear with the pandemic? Are we not dealing with strong trends in our societies, as announced by a multitude of early warning signs…”
The Church should be aware of the shifting cultural sands – but we do not stand on these sands – we stand on The Rock. You may be feeling that life, your life, is so uncertain. And that is because it is! But we follow the One who is the same, yesterday, today and forever. All other ground is sinking sand.
I would not expect everyone to read Bernard-Henri Lévy’s The Virus in the Age of Madness, but I have written a short summary and an extensive list of quotes which you can access here.
Our video this week is something produced in Sydney with Anglican pastor Dominic Steele. Every week he produces The Pastor’s Heart – Click here although it is for pastors, I think it will be beneficial to many Christians – not least this week’s which looks at concerns about a dropping attendance after Covid.
This week’s song is a psalm – click here John Wilson and Christiana MacMillan give us this beautiful version of Psalm 16. Why not use it as your prayer this week?