Every day we hear news about the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear of how it is affecting the lives of so many.
Yesterday, I was watching the news, and a whole lot of photos were shown of people who had died in America as a result of this pandemic. It personalised the situation when I was able to see a face and not just a figure.
Over the last several years many have begun to believe a ‘framing story’ about many general beliefs of our culture in the western world.
There has been a tendency to believe that the purpose of life is for individuals or nations to accumulate lots of possessions and to pursue gratification and pleasure.
This does influence at least some, to do short-term thinking regarding the environment and other important issues.
A me first, my family first, my country first mentality can result from this short-term thinking. My job, my needs become more important than long-term planning.
This can also lead to short-term thinking about conflicts between groups of people, and even between nations.
There is a tendency to think short-term about most things, to think about what is pragmatic and expedient.
If, on the other hand, we believe that we have the freedom to choose, the ability to make good moral choices, that there are objective truths, then a different viewpoint is much more credible.
Our Christian belief tells us that ‘God sees all that He has made, and it is good’ (Genesis).
Jesus calls us to pursue virtue, collaboration, peace, mutual respect and care for one another, and all of creation.
Jesus also teaches us that we matter absolutely to God, all human beings matter! Our lives have profound meaning. God has dreams for us. We are called into a partnership with God to make the world and human society, the world and people that God is calling us to be.
Our Christian belief calls us to a radically different way of living than that which believes that the pursuit of pleasure and gratification, and self-interest is what is most important.
As in previous times during periods of the modern era when humanity thought that we do not need God, that God is dead, this pandemic has reminded us to reflect on what really matters, what is most important.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is the great pointer to what really matters.