While Coronavirus headlines have been grim in various parts of the world for weeks, there’s still been a feeling that it’s “elsewhere”. We’re not particularly hard hit in our part of France, for example (although we remain on strict lockdown like the rest of the country).
As news headlines back home in North America begin to offer up daily tallies of infections and deaths, where there may have been a sense of it being an “elsewhere” issue… it feels like that sense is fading.
All that makes it important for me to remember…
- No “BAC”: In France, the BAC is the series of massive final exams & oral interviews that determine whether or not you graduate from high school. Typically, work done through the school year doesn’t count toward a final mark or a running GPA… it’s all about the BAC. Consequently, there is a HUGE amount of pressure surrounding it. On Thursday night, the prime minister announced that the BAC would not take place and that, in stead, it would be the running average of marks throughout the school year that would determine whether or not high schoolers graduate. It was a huge relief to Dominic & Sophie.
- Walnuts: Margaret Hicks would be so proud; I’ve come to love walnuts! Marg was my grandmother and she loved walnuts, and (in my eyes) ruined a good many chocolate brownie by always including walnuts in the batter. I really didn’t like them for most of my life. It’s only been this year that I’ve come to appreciate them. Last fall, one of the church members gave us two garbage bags full of fresh ones from a lot near his home where there are several trees. It turns out that, if you roast them in the oven and remove the brown, papery skin…. they lose the bitter taste. It’s work… but it’s a great (& free) snack.
- Psalm 91.3: “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
Surely he shall deliver thee… from the noisome pestilence.
That sounds like a plague doesn’t it?
That sounds like Covid-19.
…but “Surely he shall deliver thee?”
How’s it possible to say that when tens of thousands have died from it and Christians are not spared?
Because ultimately, for those who truly trust Christ, the ultimate concern is not this life, but the next. Whatever happens to me down here is one thing – it’s appointed to everyone to die at some point. When I die, it may be the result of Covid-19 (if I get it) or the Lord may deliver us… may prevent us from getting it.
On the other hand, even if we were to contract it, and even if we were to pass from it… our faith is that it would merely deliver us from this life and place us squarely into eternity with Christ.
Paul told the church in Philippi… “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1.21).
Covid-19 doesn’t have ultimate authority over my future, therefore I need not cower in fear of it. For the Christian, our hope is elsewhere. In the words of the old hymn…
“My hope is built on nothing less,
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”
While your other activities are limited, read about the antics of teenagers on/around the Moncton-Buctouche Railway in the early 1920s.