As of March 24, 2020, 25,665 New Yorkers have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 210 New Yorkers are known to have died of it.
The outbreak of this epidemic has not just affected public health. It has changed our way of life. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.3 requires that any large gathering or event that is expected to be attended by more than 50 people be cancelled until further notice. The Governor has also mandated the closing of all schools, restaurants, indoor shopping malls, and places of public amusement, and has ordered employers to dramatically reduce the number of on-site workers. In a very short time, New Yorkers have been cut off from our workplaces, many of our public spaces, and even our churches.
How should believers and churches respond to the coronavirus?
- With wisdom. Christians can love our neighbors by making every effort to stay healthy and to keep others healthy.
- With respect for the governing authorities. Unless government actions infringe on constitutionally-protected rights or require us to sin, Christians ought to comply with the laws and regulations that are put in place by our government.
- With love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”. While we may not be able to meet together the way that we are used to, Christians can still use technology—and, when wise and appropriate, small gatherings—to remain connected with our fellow believers.
- With love for our neighbors. The coronavirus has created unprecedented new needs in our communities. Let’s be aware of those needs and find ways to minister to them. The Lord can even use something as fearful and deadly as the coronavirus to fulfill His purposes.