Church in times of Coronavirus

An Easter Letter

Dear sisters and brothers in the Global Anabaptist family of the MWC,

We greet you in the name of our Risen Lord! Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

We are an Easter people

Easter has come, but not gone! Our celebrations may have been unusual. But our gratitude was no less heartfelt that nothing in all creation, including death, can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:38-39). The grave could not hold our Lord – Hallelujah! Easter has come, but it is not gone. Along with the world wide Body of Christ, we celebrate it each Sunday, even as we also await the great Easter to come (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). Whatever we might yet face, we are an Easter people.

We are called to love our neighbour

This is a profoundly challenging time for all of us around the globe. The corona virus has struck many of us and our communities, and will continue to do so. In times of such adversity we wish so much to gather, to pray together, to plead with one voice for healing and hope. And we want to reach out in person to those who are suffering – embracing them with hugs, food, and personal visits. That is how we are used to showing God’s love.

It is very hard to practice physical distance or to stay in our homes, especially on Sunday morning. Yet today love of neighbour calls us to stay at a safe distance whenever possible. We rejoice that Christ is present, even when we “gather” with our sisters and brothers by phone or internet. It is wonderful how the Spirit is opening our imaginations to find new ways to connect and express our love for each other. The Christ who met the disciples on the road to Emmaus will walk alongside us even as we try to do our best to keep our safe distance.

We pray for God’s gracious protection

We are mindful of the many persons – doctors, nurses, family members, friends – who are caring for those who are suffering from this contagious illness. We give thanks for their self-giving, and pray for their safety and on-going energy. May the Risen One be there at the bed side, in the hospital, along with them.

We are also mindful of those many within our global family for whom physical distancing is impossible. We pray for God’s gracious protection.

May this global crisis draw us closer to God and closer to each other. May we find ways to show and witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ. And may we have the courage to be the Body of the Risen One in this hour of our world’s suffering.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

 

César García
MWC General Secretary

Thomas Yoder Neufeld
Chair, MWC Faith and Life Commission

John D. Roth
Secretary, MWC Faith and Life Commission

 

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