Anxiety is Emotional and Spiritual Bondage

alex tang 01 sept 2011

 

MCO Day 10 27 March 2020

Anxiety is Spiritual and Emotional Bondage

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

 

Anxiety is an insidious emotion. It is a stealth emotion which with time become invisible to our consciousness and awareness. Many of us must be feeling this by now, the 10th day of our Movement Control Order (MCO). The worsening of the situation in certain areas is not reassuring. By now, many of us are not feeling anything. We are suffering from COVID fatigue syndrome. Our senses have been overwhelmed, our mind tries to distance ourselves and we feel nothing. Our emotions are flat. It is not true that we feel nothing. We feel anxious but this anxiety is so well hidden from our awareness that we just feel numb. An overdose of anxiety makes us feel numb, disorientated and distanced from our lives. We do not care anymore. There is no motivation to do anything. We just want to be couch potatoes consuming endless mindless entertainment. We sleep but wake up tired. We are disturbed and do not feel any peace. We know we should do something useful but just have no energy or motivation to do it. We are all in anxiety bondage.

Anxiety is an emotion and there is nothing wrong about being anxious. Being thinking and rational beings we should feel anxious. I feel anxious every morning when I leave for work because I do not know whether I will be infected by the SARS-CoV-19 virus from the next patient I treat. This anxiety is good because it makes me more vigilant in making sure I can practising the anti-infection protocol diligently. Paul in his Letter to the Philippians is not saying we should not feel anxiety. Paul does not condemn us for being anxious. He is asking us to master anxiety and do not let anxiety master us. And this is remarkable because it is likely that Paul was a prisoner when he wrote this. If anyone should be anxious, it should be Paul! Prisons are not pleasant places and Paul has no idea whether he would be tortured or executed. Yet, Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…” (Phil.4:6a).

Trust is the antithesis of anxiety. In trust, we place ourselves in the hand of One who is sovereign, who is in control of all things. Anxiety is living in fear in an environment we have no control over. We embrace this trust when we pray. Paul continues,”… by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Phil.4:6b). In our prayers, we make our requests to God. We place before him our specific needs. Being our Father, we know that he will answer and give us what we need, not what we want. There is sometimes a difference between our needs and wants. A child may want lots of ice-cream for dinner but we know what the child need is a meal with rice/bread, meat, and vegetables. We are also asked to pray with thanksgiving. Gratitude is a good attitude to cultivate. Praying with thanksgiving is not reminding God what he has done but reminding ourselves about what God has done for us. If God has been so generous and gracious in the past, will he not do the same now?

Remembering what God has done for us and be grateful to him, and have the assurance that God listens to all our prayers helps us to build trust. This trust in God is the instrument to break the spiritual and emotional bondage of anxiety. As we continue in our daily life we will feel anxiety. It is useful to memorize Phil.4:6. The following further steps may help

  • Acknowledge that you are anxious
  • Ask yourself why are you anxious?
  • Can you do anything about this situation? If yes do it.
  • Bring this situation to God in prayer (whether you can do something about it or not)
  • Practice gratitude and thanksgiving

A pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. We do not know when this lockdown will end. We do not know how many more people will die. We do not know whether we will have jobs when this is over. There are too many unknowns and these are anxious times. Paul the prisoner reminds us not to be anxious but to pray and trust in God.

 

27 March 2020

One Anothering in COVID Lockdown

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Source: zoom.us

 

One Anothering in COVID Lockdown

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I just finished a wonderful fellowship with a group of students on Zoom. The students are part of a University fellowship and I was invited to be part of it. I must confess that I am feeling quite down after 7 days of Movement Control Order (MCO) which is a partial lockdown in Malaysia. I am staying alone and being constantly bombarded with the current news on the COVID-19 pandemic status in Malaysia and the rest of the world is not helpful to maintain an optimistic outlook. The news is grim with stormy seas ahead. I am lucky in the sense that I am a doctor so I can go to work and get out of my house every day. However, I will be walking into a virus dense area like a hospital, where I can easily catch the virus from my patients, which is not too heartening. Yes, I was feeling down.

Being involved in a group, even in a virtual one where we pray, worship in songs, share, and care for one another encouraged me. These young people are very committed to their faith and being with them reminds me that I too belong to the One who stilled the storm and parted the sea. Their youthful enthusiasm drives my old-man cynicism away. Yes, one can become cynical in the faith when one grows older, especially if one is theologically trained. To paraphrase John Wesley, I am ‘strangely warmed’. It is true that fire burns brightly but an ember that has fallen out will soon grow cold. Thank you, my dear brothers and sisters.

We, humans, are social being and we need one another. No one can be strong alone. We need to be in the company with others. One ‘blessing’ of this pandemic is that it has driven the Church out of bricks and mortar buildings into gatherings of faith communities. We are just discovering the delights and benefits of virtual faith communities. It took a while to change our mindset but we are just beginning to realize that there is no such thing as ‘real’ (as in flesh and blood) and ‘virtual’ (as in digital) communities. Virtual communities are just the digital extension of our real communities. This is what Church is like in an interconnected digital world and it takes the disruption of a pandemic to helps us see that.

The unknown author of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 10:25 of not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” This is wisdom speaking because we as the body of Christ belong to each other. It is my hope that Christians find more and more creative ways of meeting together until such times when we can safely meet again face-to-face.

Take care, stay home, stay safe.

 

24 March 2020

15 deaths

1,624 cases

 

 

Stop, Pause, Reset

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MSO Day 5 21 March 2020

Stop, Pause, Reset

 

Matthew 4:1–3 (NIV)

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

 

Before Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, he was baptized by John the Baptist. After he was baptized he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and heard a voice saying “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:13-17). It must have been a powerful spiritual epiphany for Jesus. Then he was whizzed to the wilderness or desert. He was in the wilderness or desert for forty days and nights. The temptations by the tempter only came at the end of the forty days and nights. I wonder what will have been Jesus’ experience during these long days and nights. This may be likened to a silent retreat for those who have experienced a prolonged one like the Ignatian thirty-day retreat. One similar to being confirmed to a house or apartment like during the present pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO).

 

Being in the wilderness or desert is a disruption to the routine of our everyday life so we can face two fundamental questions of our souls: “Who are we?” and “Whose are you?” Jesus needs to pause, stop, and reset. He needs forty days and nights to sort it through. The three temptations are his final exams. In our present condition of a ‘lockdown’, perhaps God has led us into a situation where we have to stop, pause, and reset concerning these two fundamental questions of our lives: “Who are we?” and “Whose are we?” And to reexamine our lives and then decide how we shall then proceed to live the rest of our lives.

 

Stop

We should take this disruption of the routine of our daily lives as a blessing. Whether we are in MSO stay-at-home, stay-at-hostel, enforced-quarantine, or self-quarantine, take this opportunity as a gift from God. The wilderness is a dangerous place. The coronavirus is a dangerous virus. The number of deaths and infected persons in Malaysia keeps increasing. Worldwide, the pandemic is bringing the whole of civilization to a halt. So we are confined. This gives us a unique opportunity to step away from the comfort and safety of our everyday life to have a correct perspective of life, especially the direction our lives are heading.

 

Pause

Let us use this opportunity to reexamine our values and life-headings. Let us re-ask the questions; “Who are we?” and “Whose are we?” The first deal with our identity and the second our vocation or calling in this life. This is exactly what the devil’s temptations are all about. The first temptation deals with Jesus’ identity and the second and third, Jesus’ vocation or calling. Do we operate out of our false self or our true self? Our false self is an idealized persona we created based on what we think others think of us. Its manifestations are the accumulation of wealth, fame, status, titles, and accolades. The true self is who God created to be. It seeks our true identity in Christ. Its manifestation is to bear the fruit of the Spirit and to grow into Christlikeness. The second question is closely linked to the first. Only our true self belongs to God. And if we belong to God, we shall seek to live our lives according to his teachings and love.

 

So spend the days of ‘pause’ to re-examine your lives. The coronavirus pandemic strips away our pretensions of what is important in life. Imagine if you are infected and know that you are going to die soon. What do you think are the things or persons you will like to spend more time with before you die? If you are infected, there will be no wake or funeral. The hospital will cremate you at once. Therefore, ask questions of your life in these areas:

  • General Statements of Intention – (desire to love with sincerity, or to seek God . . .)
  • Prayer Life – specific devotional practices (worship, intercession, meditation), times, places [To meditate on one Psalm daily S M T W Th F S]
  • Study – reading, memorizing, research, listening, attitudes to take (diligence, openness . . .) [personal study aside from assignment]
  • Family Life – time spent, activities listed . . . [ To spend quality time with my spouse 3 times a week (2 hr. block minimum)]
  • Fellowship or Relationships – key relationships of focus, attitudes or actions to cultivate, meetings or activities in which to participate, letters to write . . . [ Did I show Christian love to others this week]
  • Health – exercise, diet . . .
  • Financial Life – a record of income and expenses, budgets, lifestyle choices, contributions
  • Community Life – read newspapers, write letters on social issues, volunteer at organizations…
  • Work Life – time management, balance time and rest, reevaluate priorities

 

Reset

This is to decide how you will live your life from this time forward. A resetting of your life based on your re-examination on who you are and whom do you belong to. Our lives are not ours to do as we please. We are given a life each to live for a purpose. We can only live our life here on earth once. Unlike computer games, there is no second or third life to live again. Use your ‘stop’ time to prayerfully and meditative plan out a rule of life. A rule of life will help you to keep to your reset pathway and prevent you from being sidetracked.

 

Jesus was able to effectively overcome the temptations because he was led into a deeper understanding of who he is and what he is called to be in his time in the wilderness or desert. Use this time in MCO stay-at-home wisely. Use it as a stop-pause-reset in your spiritual journey.

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22 March 2020

MCO Day 5

COVID-19 Pandemic in Malaysia

Number of Death: 8

Number of Infected: 1,183

Do Not Covid Your Neighbor

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MCO Day 4 20 March 2020  Do Nor Covid Your Neighbor

Luke 10:25–29 (NIV)

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is probably one of the most famous stories in the Bible. Jesus narrated this story to answer the question “who is my neighbor?” Christians, along with the rest of the world, have their lives disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments are enacting draconian measures such as lockdown to try to contain the spread of this virus. Many Christians, like the rest of the population, are confined to their home with restricted movement. All this means an abrupt change in lifestyle. However, this did not negate Jesus’ teaching about loving and helping their neighbors.

Unfortunately, Christians were mainly focused on arguing among themselves on whether they should still meet in persons in their regular Sunday service, or to suspend these services. The decision was made for them when the government imposed the Movement Control Order which banned small or large gatherings. Now the argument is about whether to record the sermon and make it available online or to stream their worship service live. Pastoral care has suffered because many pastors are not social media savvy and did not know how to continue to serve their congregations online. Many pastors themselves are in some sort of emotional and spiritual crisis as they live very sheltered lives. They are still processing the disruption in these trying times. As a result, many congregations are suffering from a pastoral care vacuum and there is little left over for caring for their neighbors. It is time that churches become less inward-looking. Christians should be encouraged to look out for their neighbors.

First, many Christians do not know who their neighbors are, so this is a good time to get to know them. This is especially important if their neighbors are elderly and infirm. In this MCO period, they are unlikely to be mobile enough to go out to buy food and grocery. Many do not stock much in their larders. Christians can demonstrate their love by buying food and grocery for their neighbors. They can offer to send them to their hospital appointments. After all, since most Christians are staying at home, they have time to do so.

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Second, getting to know their neighbor may be a worthwhile activity to while away the long hours during a lockdown. It is not standing at the fence to chit chat but to connect by phone either through voice calls, texting and even using zoom and skype. Communication is the first step in building a relationship.

Third, it is their responsibility not to infect their neighbors with the virus. If they suspect that they have been exposed to the virus either by not practicing social distancing or have had attended a large gathering where it is found later to have infected participants, it is their duty to seek medical care to check if they are infected. They should avoid spreading the virus by going into their neighbors’ houses. If their neighbors are elderly, they should not allow their children to play with them. Studies in Italy have shown that even though children suffer from a mild form of COVID-19, mostly fever and sniffles, they are potent spreaders of the disease to the elderly and those with chronic immune weakening diseases. Children may have played a major role in the spread of the pandemic in China and Italy.

Finally, Christians should pray for their neighbors as they pray for their families and church members. Pray for God’s mercy as the number of infected cases in Malaysia has soared to 1,030 and there are already 3 deaths due to the disease. Pray that God will halt the pandemic and save us all.

MCO#3 Tell the Truth

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MCO Day 3 Telling the Truth

Luke 8:17 –  For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.

My respect and heart go to the frontline troopers in this war against the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the nurses, doctors, radiographers, nursing assistants, clerks, cleaners, and all others who stand in the frontline, defending us from the infection. It is a tense and stressful calling. We never know if or when we may become infected in spite of the numerous layers of protective layers we wear. The N95 masks are really uncomfortable. The face shield cumbersome. And the constant fear- whether we become infected or worse, we infect our loved ones. I can still remember the days of SARS where the moment I reached home, I would make a beeline for the bathroom to change out of the hospital scrubs, scrub and wash myself, and wear clean clothes before I hug and kiss my wife and children. The fear combined with the long hours were exhausting and spirit draining. Now 18 years later, I am called upon to fight another virus, SARS-CoV-2. I am in solidarity with the younger doctors who are in the direct line of fire.

It is one thing to treat an infection, it is worse when your patients lie to you. Any important fact we need to know is whether the patient was involved in a religious or political gathering where there are infected persons, or in close contact with an infected person. Knowing this information will help the medical team protect themselves and their management of the condition.

But some patients always lie. It is standard for us to ask these risk questions but they will lie. The doctors then proceed with the treatment and somewhere along the way the truth will come out. Either from the spouse or relatives. This places the whole medical team at risk. The team will have to be screened and quarantined. Some team members will become infected and may die from the virus. I always wondered how some people be so selfish. There are limited numbers of doctors and medical teams.

I wish sincerely that patients will tell the truth. When we treat patients, there is a unique bond formed. Discovering the lies later, I feel so betrayed. So please, if you have a history of overseas travel to infected countries, taking part in a religious conference or service, and suspect you have been exposed to the virus, tell us. TELL THE TRUTH, Do not hide the facts until it is too late. Don’t be responsible for the death of a young promising doctor because if your lies.

MCO #2 Lockdown is Lockdown

 

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BernamaImages|PAULTAN.ORG

MCO Day 2  Don’t Travel, Stay at Home

Romans 13:1–2 (NIV)

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

 

In times like this, we Malaysians, must be united in our determination to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in our country. This means we must put aside our differences and unite to support the government in the Movement Control Order (MCO). The key basis of this draconian partial lockdown of the whole country is to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-19 virus. This is a new virus and there is much we do not know about it. What we do know however is that it spreads by droplets and fomites (contaminated materials touched by the infected person). The virus can only be spread by the near proximity of an infected person. We learned about this through the painful lessons from the pandemic in China, South Korea, and Iran. Social distancing (stay away 2 meters from other people), frequent handwashing, contact tracing and quarantine of infected persons will slow down the spread of the disease, COVID-19. Hence the governmental call to stay home, do not travel back to your hometown and avoid gathering together. Stay at home. Buy your food and eat at home. No unnecessary travel and moving about. Remember that the elderly, and others who have chronic medical problems are at high risk of dying from COVID-19. Dying from acute respiratory distress (when the lungs are filled with fluid) and myocarditis (when the heart swells up and fails) is a terrible way to die. There is no way we can know whether we have the virus or not. Many people who have the virus do not exhibit symptoms of fever and cough until much later in the infection. Do not have to live with the regret that you have spread the disease to others, especially to your beloved ones. Stay at home. No jalan jalan until the travel restriction is over.

MCO#1 Today We Closed Our Borders

Psalm 57:1 (NIV)

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

2020-03-18 11.49.44

Today, at the stroke of midnight 18 March 2020, Malaysia closed its borders in an effort to contain the Covid-19 virus pandemic. The Movement Control Order mandates the closing of two busy land borders with Singapore and Thailand. The Causeway and Second Link were the site of chaos as thousands made their way to Singapore before the deadline. Some were Singaporeans but most were Malaysians who are working to Singapore. The Order is for 14 days so these were expecting to be separated from their families for this period at least. After this date, Malaysia will not admit anyone from other countries. Malaysians will be admitted and immediately placed into 14 days quarantine. These draconian measures are necessary as the Malaysian government struggles to contain the wildfire of COVID-19 which has claimed 2 lives, with 673 infected persons. In the two months since the world has become aware of this new virus, SARS-CoV 2, it has created havoc in the world especially in China, South Korea, and Iran. It is presently ravaging Italy and the rest of Europe, killing and infecting thousands of people.

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Malaysia and Singapore have a strong shared history. In fact, at one time, they were one political entity. Political, economically and relationally, there is a strong bond between them. Many Malaysians and Singaporeans have relatives in both countries and the family bond is strong. People travel between these two countries in huge numbers daily. So it was not an easy decision for the Malaysian government to impose a partial lockdown of the house country. This is the first time since world war two it was closed. It was indeed a historic day. The aim was to keep everyone at home to prevent the spread of the disease while healthcare workers identify, track, and treat the infected persons. It involves the shutdown of all businesses except for those providing essential services. It requires the population not to travel but self-distance or self-isolate until the virus dies out or its spread plateau. It was a drastic measure for a dire situation.

The social project of this scale requires the active participation of the Malaysian people. It cannot depend on punitive punishment from the police or army to force people to act. No doubt it will involve a change of lifestyle. It will be destructive for all businesses especially the small ones. The people are called to have a long view and to sacrifice for the short gains. If the virus is not contained, it is estimated that it will infect 60% of the population of Malaysia and kill thousands of people. Those at the highest risk will be the elderly and those with lower immunity such as diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, people on dialysis, and other chronic illnesses.

Today, we closed our borders in the hope that the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia will be contained. We call on all Malaysians to be united in this fight for our survival. A pandemic running wild will cause chaos. We ask for prayers for this endeavour for our national survival.

May God has mercy on us.

 

18 March 2020

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Don’t Balik Kampung

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Don’t Balik Kampung (Go home to your village)

The Movement Control Order or Mass Travel Restriction in Malaysia comes into force tomorrow. The Restriction seems to be limited to international Border travel and not domestic ones. The Order also involves the closing of all business premises except those that offer essential services. This sudden two-week unexpected off work or school may seem like a holiday similar to the Hari Raya Puasa or Chinese New Year holidays. IT IS NOT! This is a desperate measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We are in an emergency situation.

To this end, the Government has decided to implement the Movement Control Order, from March 18, 2020, the day after March 31, 2020, throughout the country. This control order is made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967. This Movement Control Order includes;

First, the general prohibition of mass movements and gatherings across the country including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. To enforce this prohibition, all houses of worship and business premises must be closed except for supermarkets, public markets, convenience stores and convenience stores selling everyday necessities. Specifically for Muslims, the adjournment of all religious activities in mosques and mosques including Friday prayers is in line with the decision of the Special Mental Health Committee meeting on March 15, 2020.

Secondly, the sanctions cover all Malaysians traveling abroad. For those who have just returned from overseas, they are required to undergo a health check and to do a quarantine (or self quarantine) for 14 days;

Third, restrictions on the entry of all tourists and foreign visitors into the country;

Fourth, closure of all kindergartens, government and private schools including daily schools, boarding schools, international schools, tahfiz centers and other primary, secondary and pre-university institutions;

Fifth, the closure of all public and private higher education institutions (IPTs) and skills training institutes nationwide; and

Sixth, the closure of all government and private premises except those involved in essential services (water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, prison, port, airport, safety, defense, cleaning, retail and food supply.

Malaysians love to travel and this may seem like our festival period and so may be tempted to go back to our hometown or balik kampung. Please reconsider. You or your family or friends may be infected with the virus or are carriers (there are still a lot we do not know about this virus. Are children carriers?). If you balik kampung now, you may be spreading the virus and placing your elderly loved ones at risk. So think twice before you pack up your car and go.

 

Self Quarantine

If you are reaching or have reached your kampung/parent’s house/family, self-quarantine for 7 days even if you do not have any symptoms or contact with infected people
– stay in your room and do not come out
– have your food placed outside your door
– use separate bowls, plates
– wash eating utensils with hot water
– wash your clothes separately
– use a separate toilet
– pray

Do not spread COVID-19 to your loved ones. The elderly are at very high risk.

 

Why Churches Should Stop Meeting Together

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Why We Should Stop Meeting Together

Why should Christians stop meeting together during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic? Do we lack faith that God will protect us? Did God not promise his protection in Psalm 91:5-6? More and more churches are suspending their church service and other meetings in order to avoid the spread of SARS CoV 2 virus (COVID-19) during the current worldwide pandemic. Many are instead streaming their church service online, or have a link to other online platforms to provide their members, encouragement, connection and the Word of God through the sermon. The meeting together physically is an important part of the Christian church tradition. We meet together for koinonia, prayer, worship, and edification. Even in times of extreme persecution, the Church had always tried to meet together secretly in spite of the danger. So why should we not have a physical face to face meeting now? Why should we try to cancel all physical events?

First, it is not a lack of faith in God, when churches suspend their physical meeting together. It is having faith in a God who created rational human beings so that they will behave rationally. Yes, God has promised his protection. Do we then step off a 10-story building and trust God to send his angels to catch us before we go splat?

Psalm 91:11–12 (NIV)

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Is this about our faith or our pride? The devil suggested the same to Jesus when he tempted Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4:5-7). Here the devil brought Jesus to the highest point of the temple and told him to jump. The devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus (yes, the devil knows the Scriptures well too). If you are who you say you are, jump and have the faith that God will send his angels to cushion your fall. Jesus’ response is instructive. Jesus said we are not to test God, quoting Deuteronomy 6:16.

Deuteronomy 6:16 (NIV)

16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.

This issue here, as Jesus was aware, is not about faith but testing God. In Massah, the Israelites argued with Moses about the lack of water, with Moses rebuking the Israelites for testing God. It is because of this lack of faith and disobedience that Psalm 95:8-10 stated that the Moses generation will not see the Promised Land but be condemned to wander in the desert for forty years until they are all dead. So when we question each other about faith or lack of faith, we have to be sure it is not a desire to test God. Underlying our question about faith maybe our desire to test God and see if he will keep his word. The suspension of meeting together is not a lack of faith but an act of worship to God.

Second, social distancing is found to be an effective way to limit the spread of this infectious new coronavirus. This virus can only live in human beings and is spread from one human to another by droplets (coughing) and contact (included contaminated tables, chairs). The virus spread easily when groups of people come together and one of them is infected. When the infected person is identified quickly and treated (there is no effective treatment, just supportive), the virus dies and cannot spread. Stopping the human to human spread will stop the pandemic. Hence, the need to cancel all public gatherings where people come together. This is called social distancing and it is our social responsibility to enact it. It is to protect one another especially those over 65 years old who are especially at risk to die from this virus.

Another effect of social distancing is that it slows the spread of the coronavirus. If too many people are infected and become sick at the same time, our healthcare system will be overwhelmed such as is happening in Italy and Iran now, and what had happened in China.

This week will be the school holidays for Malaysia and Singapore. It is hoped that parents will take note of the following:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • avoid trips both local and overseas if possible (even if you have paid, your health is more precious than your money)
  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water at home, and with hand sanitizer outside the house
  • if anyone is sick with fever and cough, stay at home and do not visit your friends
  • ‘tapau’/takeout and eat at home as much as possible
  • if you have to eat outside your house, use hand sanitizer to spray and wash the area you will be sitting and bring your own eating utensils
  • avoid touching your nose and face and then your mouth
  • try to sit 2 meters away from other people
  • avoid crowded places, even crowded playgrounds or other open-air spaces

This social responsibility is our act of worship to love our neighbors.

The decision to cancel or suspend face to face church activities is a responsible response to the coronavirus pandemic. Churches must find different ways to connect with their congregations online. The technology to do so is already available. We continue to pray that the pandemic will be over soon and we can resume our traditional services.

School Holidays in Times of Coronavirus

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The school holidays are here!

In times of COVID-19 pandemic
– stay at home as much as possible
– avoid trips both local and overseas if possible (even if you have paid, your health is more precious than your money)
– wash your hands frequently with soap and water at home, and with hand sanitizer outside the house
– if anyone is sick with fever and cough, stay at home and do not visit your friends
– ‘tapau’/takeout and eat at home as much as possible
– if you have to eat outside your house, use hand sanitizer to spray and wash the area you will be sitting and bring your own eating utensils
– avoid touching your nose and face
– try to sit 2 meters away from other people
– avoid crowded places, even crowded playgrounds or other open-air spaces

BE SAFE, BE RESPONSIBLE, BE WELL

 

#BesafeBeresponsibleBewell