By Rev. Fr. John Chinenye Oluoma
Now when they had departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘ Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ He rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt and remained there until Herod died.”
Herod was Covid-H1, Jesus Christ was the target. Isn’t it surprising that God didn’t kill Herod to stop him from killing our Savior? Wouldn’t that have been a perfect New Testament biblical basis for “all my enemies who wish me evil, die die die by fire” prayer? God didn’t do that. God didn’t even tell the angel that brought the revelation to Joseph to guard the child and defend him against Herod, which would have also made a very fantastic pious reference for divine protection. ‘Disappointingly’ God told Joseph to take the baby and his mom and run like a coward in the covering of the night.
There’s something about this Joseph of a guy that’s not flattering, he was too timid and laid back by the standard of present day ‘anointed and powerful’ Christians. Maybe Joseph was just too naive or had no faith at all. He foster fathered the Savior of the world and ‘wetin him gain’? He remained a common carpenter, his destiny didn’t change, no bigger house, no more money, he was rarely seen or heard, yet he bore the brunt of foster fathering the son who came from heaven. Now, a common man is threatening their life and not even a miracle to protect them is provided. Joseph is a ‘disgrace’ to the billboard and screen gods and divas of highly anointed and powerful Christians of today, who swim in miracles and whose ‘cases are different’. Poor Joe, even papa father in the Catholic Church today seems to command higher fame than he.
When that Corona virus threatened Jesus Christ, it was Egypt that God sent him for safety. It wasn’t anywhere in Israel. Egypt is symbolically the land of idols and false gods, Israel is the promise land where God dwells, yet when the corvid-H1 showed up, the son of God found safety in the land of ‘darkness’. This God sef, He didn’t even tell Joseph to go and hide the child in the Temple in Jerusalem, since the temple, like the churches of today should provide immunity to worshippers from the attack of the virus. Issorite.
I think God is not gonna be angry with us if churches are closed or public worship suspended for a while to stem the tide of the coronavirus. God is not so needy of public worship that He can’t survive some few weeks without it. He’s also not petty as to withdraw His blessings from us if we can’t gather to worship. Anyone who gives you that impression isn’t presenting God rightly. Mt 18: 20 says WHERE 2 OR 3 GATHER IN MY NAME, I’M THERE IN THEIR MIDST. it never said God will be with you only when you gather in thousand in a church building.
My eyes, ears and mind have been inundated by the conspiracy theories and ‘wolf cries’ of ‘very pious’ Christians who, not only believe that coronavirus was deliberately created to end Christianity, but also believe that stopping public religious worship is a capitulation to the plans of this ‘anti Christ’. Some Christians can be frustratingly touchy, petty and ridiculous.
It has been established that the virus is efficiently and speedily transmitted in large gatherings. Logically, stopping people from crowding is also an efficient means of stopping the spread. The virus doesn’t respect religion or denomination.
So, if you are in a diocese or country where public gatherings including churches are suspended, don’t feel sad, scared or worried. Pray to God in the confines of your home, pray together as a family. Those living in places where the ban hasn’t taken place yet, pray for others. Those in places where the ban has become neccesary, don’t make things difficult for authorities, support and encourage them to make the ban and also comply. Religious leaders should know better than to play pious pranks or pretensions with this issue, call off public worship even on suspicion of its necessity.
Let’s run from the virus as Joseph did, even in Egypt God is there.
May all those infected be healed in the name of Jesus Christ. May all those not affected be protected in the name of Jesus Christ. May those who have died from it rest in peace. May God enable our medical experts to find both curative and preventive medicine for it in the name of Jesus Christ.