Pastoral Reflection

March 24, 2020

“Christian Response in a Crisis”

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:3-5

At the outbreak of the COVID-19, we saw different responses from the public:

The first response was the most common one – selfish hoarding.

Some people were buying a lot more than they needed. Some households were buying toilet papers that could last a whole year! That is why we don’t have enough toilet paper for everyone.

Another response we saw was greedy opportunism.

On the March 14th issue of the New York Times, there was an article about an Amazon merchant named Matt Colvin and his brother Noah. When the first Coronavirus death was announced in the US, the brothers drove to many stores in Tennessee and Kentucky and bought thousands of bottles of hand sanitizers and thousands of packs of anti-bacterial wipes. They listed the first 300 hand sanitizers on Amazon and immediately sold them all for between $8 to $70 per bottle. There were many merchants like them. And Amazon pulled their items and suspended other sellers.

When there is a crisis, there are always the greedy ones who use it to make easy money, often at the expense of others. (The latest update is that Matt & Noah Colvin have decided to donate all their hand sanitizers.)

But there were others who responded with selfless acts.

Many healthcare workers took care of the sick at the risk of their own lives. A few landlords in South Korea did not charge small businesses rent for the month of March. In the US, some volunteered to do grocery shopping for their elderly neighbor. When Italy was put under the “shelter-in-place” order, a professional singer sang songs from her balcony to the essential workers down below.

Christians are those who have the mind of Christ

The mind of Christ is described in the text. Christ did nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Christ valued all human beings and put others’ interests above His own.

Whether we are in a crisis or not, Christians are always to practice self-sacrificial love for others. As we look to provide for our own needs, let us look around to see how we can love our neighbors. We can call someone whom we have not spoken for a while. We can pray for our members, our neighbors, and our city. And if we have one large pack of toilet papers, we can share a few with the one who could not get them. A small act of love will shine brighter in a crisis.

Pastor Joe
Tuesday, March 24, 2020