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Hell, Chaos and Covid-19

Reflection: At its very least, hell is separation from God. Sin, loss, failure, and disease all remind us of separation from God. Chaos, disorder, and death remind us humans that we are not in control. This pandemic is chaotic. So much of what gives meaning to the lives of so many has been disrupted: no sports, no music concerts, bank accounts emptied, education minimized, stock market plunging, churches closed, careers put on hold, jobs lost or income lessened, visits to family and friends limited—even at the time of the death of a loved one!

The Biblical story, from its very beginning in Genesis 1 to its very end in Revelation 22, is the story of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) stepping into history to overcome chaos, to save us from hellish separation from God. In Genesis and Revelation God himself steps in powerfully to redirect history. In much of the rest of the story, two main themes emerge; two main tools God provides his people to not only overcome chaos but also to be his agents of re-order and peace to the world: trust and obey. For this chaotic time, God’s word tells us that active trust in His providence and proactive obedience to His commands will not only guide us through but also help bring shalom to our friends and neighbors.

Scripture:

Genesis 1:1, 31

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

....God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning—the sixth day.

Matthew 3:16-17

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Revelation 22:15

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

 

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