Missional Matters #5 - COVID & God?

Why does God allow COVID-19?

Sooner or later someone will ask you ‘If God is a God of love, why does he allow suffering?’

This could relate to poverty, sickness, accidents, violence, earthquakes, extreme weather or a rogue virus. For many people there is no satisfactory answer. An honest response may be ‘I don’t know, I don’t understand it either, but I believe God loves us.’

However, the questionWhere is God in suffering?’ is easier to answer. Christians believe God suffers with those who suffer. As Jesus was tortured and dying on the cross, God experienced the extremes of human suffering. We also see God in the people who help those who suffer. For example, all the people helping the world get through Covid-19, including the World Health Organisation, politicians, council workers, medical folk, food suppliers and so many more. This is part of what it means for humans to be made in God’s imagecreated with the purpose to do good.

As followers of Jesus, we must also ask the question ‘Where is the church when people suffer?Jesus sends his followers as God’s agents of help, comfort and healing into a broken world. We his church are called to make God visible, demonstrating a faith that matters during times of suffering. We need to work at this.

The ‘why’ question is difficult, but the ‘where’ question can be answered.

Get your answer ready because someone is bound to ask.

Julian Doorey

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