Hi everyone. Rob here.
We are about to enter a time of lockdown here in New Zealand as we respond to the threat of Covid-19. As far as lockdowns go it’s fairly comfortable. Electricity continues to flow. Supermarkets are open and accessible. We can head out for fresh air and exercise. We are connected via social media to many. We have enough money to get by. We’ve been given wonderfully clear guidance by our Government. There’s a lot to be grateful for. But that is not the case for all.
The fragility and fallenness of human existence gets revealed clearly in times like this. Fragility is revealed in the suffering of the lonely, the homeless, the sick, the anxious and the jobless. Fallenness is revealed in panic buying and unnecessary stockpiling, groups of teens coughing on the elderly, people blatantly ignoring social distancing advice and the propagating of ridiculous conspiracy theories that only fuel hatred and divison. We are invited to respond to fragility with compassion and to fallenness with repentance and surrender.
Fragility and fallenness come together when it comes to fear. Fear arises out of human fragility. We have a need for connection so we fear loneliness. We love being healthy so we fear sickness. Mostly we love being in control of our lives and so we fear anything that threatens that control. But fear comes from our fallen nature. Life with a new heart means accepting the invitation to die to fear and receive faith, hope and love. Jesus isn’t afraid and so fear is not clothing that fits us anymore.
In dying to fear I do not reject my human fragility. I accept that I don’t want to be lonely, sick or poverty stricken. The choice is to take my fragility to Jesus and receive the gift of his life. Jesus’ life was fragile. Born to an unwed mother, from a backwards town in a backwards province, without status or wealth, disciples also without status, taking on a religious establishment full of corruption and violence that was in league with a pagan empire. His life was so fragile it ended on a cross. He laid his fragility open at the Garden of Gethsemane where he asked for the cup to be taken from him.
Jesus responded to his fragility by completely surrendering himself to his Father.
Yet not what I will, but what you will (Mark 14:36).
Once he’d done that he could step into the suffering that he needed to undergo for our sake. While a few weeks in isolation hardly compares the point is that when we’re completely surrendered to God we become far more equipped to do what needs to be done. We don’t give in to our fragility by making an agreement with fear. We respond with faith, entrusting ourselves to God who holds life and history in his hands. We receive the life of Jesus who is not afraid, but hopeful, loving and joyful. He walked through this and he will walk with us through this.
May you find daily blessing, daily joy, daily peace and daily hope as Jesus fills your life with his. Grace and peace everyone.