How should I respond and why? 

With a rapidly changing situation and daily updates from the government, how should we, as followers of Jesus, respond?

1. Don't panic!

    God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble

Even in great trouble we know that God is on the throne of the universe. We might be panicking and fearful. But God is not.  

    The Lord is my shepherd...

He has always led his people, and often through some very dark and dangerous times indeed. We are in safe hands.

    Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom

There is much to make us afraid. But if God is our Father through Jesus, we are his little flock. And he is pleased to give us his kingdom.

    For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him may not perish but have everlasting life

In fact he gave his Son for us. If he has done that, he won't let us go.

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

The answer to the question is nothing. Absolutely nothing can separate us from God's love in Christ. But that doesn't mean hard times won't come.

    We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.... But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

We have a God who brings life out of death, joy out of grief, hope out of despair.

    You crucified him, but God raised him...

Perhaps the greatest evil committed by humankind was the murder of God's Son. But God used that tragedy for extraordinary good. No situation is beyond God.

    Give us today our daily bread.

So don't panic. Live out daily dependence on the Father who loves you so much.

2. Love
    Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another

We follow our heavenly Father's example.

    Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

We can smell beautiful in a climate that smells fear.  We can shine brightly in the darkness of me-first self-preservation.

    If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink

Love, even for those we don't like, even when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable.

   Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up

Love in how we speak to others and speak about others.

So, please do follow the government's advice. They are trying to make sure there are enough intensive care beds for those who really need them when the peak of the virus hits.  

Do please gracious with our government. They are trying to make decisions that balance keeping the country running whilst protecting the most vulnerable. A complicated fast-paced situation will result in complicated advice. They need our prayers.

Please be generous towards our fellow human beings.  When shopping, only buy what you need so that others have what they need. Whilst heeding the government's guidance, how can we individually and as a church be a beacon of love, faith and hope to those around us? Do consider becoming part of our isolation coordination hub. Details here