Letters & Opinion

Words of Comfort from the Methodist Church: “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Gives Us Victory Over the COVID-19 Crisis”

Image of Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church in Saint Lucia, Rev. Seth Ampadu.
Image of Rev. Seth Ampadu, Superintendent Minister Methodist Church St Lucia.
By Rev. Seth Ampadu, Superintendent Minister Methodist Church St Lucia.

Easter is here with us again! We give thanks to God and salute our national leaders – the members of Government, the members of the Opposition, our Medical Officers and our Security Officers for their hard work in combating this COVID-19 crisis confronting us. May God bless them all!

As we look at the state of our world, we do not need anyone to tell us that we are engulfed in a state of confusion.  Our world is battling with a global financial crisis as a result of this COVID-19 pandemic. People are dying without their families being present as they pass on and the doctors, nurses and other health professionals are pleading with the public to stay home and self-isolate because this deadly virus is putting much pressure on the health system.

Today in our world, many people are losing their jobs and businesses are losing their customers. There is tension rising and hovering around us.  We continue to wonder how we can stem the tide of the chaotic crisis in which we now find ourselves as a result of this pandemic.

The recent nationwide lockdown has already disproportionately hurt marginalized communities due to loss of livelihood and lack of food, shelter, healthcare, and other basic needs. Life has suddenly come to a halt as people who earlier had a habit of going out to work, to the market, to hang out with friends, gather in chapels for worship, to the cinemas for entertainment, etc., find it quite difficult to pass the time in their rooms and having to maintain social distance. This current state of affairs has led to increased levels of anxiety and depression, and feelings of fear, agitation, anger, loss, and loneliness.

Many of us are no doubt saddened and some feel a sense of doom and are even devastated from seeing the increasing number of cases and deaths across the globe every day. Many face hunger and starvation in the absence of daily wages that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 curfews. The truth is, no one wants to feel they have no choice, and all of these factors contribute to a general level of discomfort and helplessness. The lockdown appears to be unfair to some people; having a curfew seems unfair and unreasonable to them even though it aims at mitigating the risk of contracting the infection through community spread.

In spite of what is happening around us today, the Easter message remains the same – that Jesus’ resurrection gives us victory, no matter how bleak things look. Easter represents victory! We know a completely triumphant, risen Saviour! We have confidence! We need to act with the confidence that comes from the certainty that our Saviour Jesus Christ has overcome the world.

In the midst of what appears to be all the horror and all the terror surrounding our future, Jesus Christ comes in kindness. He comes in light. He comes in grace. He comes in hope. He comes in truth. It is what the world needs to know and understand.

Jesus is not dead and in a grave. Jesus Christ IS alive—not just the fact that He rose from the dead and lived again among His disciples, but the fact that He still lives and will always live! This gives us hope that we will follow in His footsteps because He promises to give us life like His if we keep our faith in Him to the end. The truth is, since the grave could not hold Him, we must rest assured that this COVID-19 pandemic cannot destroy our faith. It cannot take away our salvation no matter what!

Let us remember, the scripture that says, “…do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing…” (Matthew 6:25 ESV)

Jesus lives, the victory is won! Death’s reign is over.  All we need, God will provide. Let this be our confidence this Easter. Anytime you experience doubt, look at the empty tomb. Look at your deliverance. There lies the hope that you can have joy, peace, assurance, and security in the midst of the despair of these uncertain times. For those of you who do not yet know Jesus Christ, I encourage you to place your faith in Him today. When you do, He will forgive you. He will fill you with His peace and His power that will enable you to rise up in Him and overcome.

As we go through this period of crisis, especially this time of curfews and lockdown, I encourage you to adopt a positive lifestyle. By positive lifestyle I mean, let us do away with indiscipline, disrespect for each other, dishonesty, intemperate language, violence and vengeance.  Instead, let us look out for each other, encourage each other to do the right thing and demonstrate more love towards each other than before, knowing that love is the greatest thing we need at this time. Let us bury all our differences and fight our current common enemy – COVID-19. Let us also not forget to keep fit by engaging in physical activities. Remember, being active helps to boost your immune system. If going out, social distancing is a critical part of the protocol to fight this pandemic.

Again, as we continue in lockdown mode, I encourage you to spend quality time with your family. Hold family devotions together to strengthen the bond you share as a family. Praying together and studying the Word together brings about spiritual enrichment that will sustain the family.

Finally, the  message of Easter  must  help  us to focus  our efforts  on healing  the wounds  of division,  reconciling  broken  families,  reuniting our communities, and settling  disputes among people of different political persuasions and religious faiths. May God bless us and heal our land. Shalom!

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