Coronavirus COVID-19. It’s big news and it’s scary news. We don’t know how far the virus will spread, how many people will be infected, and most worryingly, how many will die. Health officials warn of a likely pandemic and urge preparedness. How should Christians respond? Four general comments:

God is on the Throne: There are many things we don’t understand and even more we cannot control.  But God is sovereign over them all. He was sovereign over the bushfires. He was sovereign over the recent rains. And he is sovereign over the Coronavirus outbreak. We usually don’t know his mind or purposes, but we do know he works good for his people. In times of testing, choose not to live in fear, rather put your hope in the Lord.

Respond with Wisdom: Take health warnings seriously. Observe government guidelines and do what the authorities say. Make every reasonable effort to avoid exposure and minimize transmission. Get on with life as you are able. Be wise.

Be Sacrificial, not Selfish: Godly risk in service of others is an expression of righteousness. Rather than withdrawing in fear, in times of crises, when it’s ‘every man for himself’, followers of Jesus have had a history of sacrificial service in care for the needy. What might that mean for you? I don’t know. But the principle stands.

Pray: This takes us back to my first point and the basics of living the life of faith. Pray for those infected, for a cure, for health workers, for your own response. Pray that God might be glorified, even through a Coronavirus outbreak.