Faith Focus: We must commit to permanently change our ways when pandemic passes

John Telford

John Telford - Credit: Archant

Our regular faith column looks at current affairs from a religious perspective.

“What is happening?”, “Where are we going?”, “How will it end?” I’m sure that’s what many people in St Albans and Harpenden, and across the country, are asking and thinking right now.

Post World War ll, the pandemic is the most serious thing that the world has experienced, and largely beyond our ability to control. The Bible warns that in “the End Times” such catastrophes are going to happen, and we need to be more prepared for them.

Someone wrote that we have been quick to tackle coronavirus – understandably – but slow to tackle global warming. However, the effect of the virus has seen a massive reduction in pollution worldwide as flights, car journeys, and factory emissions plummet.

People in Chinese cities can now see and hear the birds singing, and even in our light-polluted part of the UK the moon and stars at night are much clearer!

I believe that the virus is a warning and wake-up call that, if we don’t change our ways permanently when it passes, then we will eventually bring about the collapse of our planet - which God gave us to look after.

The world started off perfectly, but we are gradually ruining it in pursuit of self-indulgence.

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Our presence in this world is transient, in that Christians believe it is in preparation for the return of Jesus, as the Bible also predicts, to bring in a new Heaven and a new Earth – where disease and self-interest is gone forever.

It is within the ability of mankind to stem the deterioration of the world and give every human a decent standard of health and living, but only by bringing in the new life which Jesus introduced.

The rise of “community” at the present time is a start, with folk actively seeking to help their families and neighbours.

If we commit to follow Jesus rather than to worldly solutions, we can overcome all global challenges and inequalities, but are we prepared to make this commitment?

John Telford has lived in St Albans for 51 years and attends the King’s Community Church.