COVID-19 Insights from Experts

Link above to a top Christian expert, Francis Collins, of the American National Institute of Health, on the situation of our current COVID-19 pandemic. We want the facts, as tough as they might be, to adjust properly and assist others towards the common good. Thanks to Dr. Judith Toronchuk for alerting our GFCF committee to this important Atlantic Monthly article. It  also includes a great statement on his Christian testimony.
Francis Collins is one of the most credible medical professionals in the United States. He was also one of speakers in GFCF a number of years ago. I trust his expertise on the subject.

This 60 Minutes Australia interview with Gabriel Leung, the frontline doctor who confronted SARS, is also quite informative and realistic: Medical Doctor Speaks About How to Strategically Build Your Immune System Interview with Bill Gates TED

GORD CARKNER March 2020 Update

A Prayer During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Almighty God, who laid the foundation of the earth, filled the ocean from the deep and gathered the winds from four corners of the earth. By your word, you called the Creation into being. We are thankful we were created in your image so we can reflect your image in our given task to take care of the Creation. Yet Adam and Eve failed you when they yielded to the snake’s temptation to doubt you. Though they were banished from the Garden and their descendants did what was evil, we are thankful you have not given up on us. Through Noah, you gave humanity a new beginning, affirmed in a tripartite covenant with also the Creation.

Almighty God, we are thankful for your repeated calls throughout the Bible, “You shall be my people: and I will be your God.” However, the chosen people grieved you greatly when they turned to idolatrous worship, relied more on having the temple, or outside nations as allies than you, God, and ignored your demand for just relationships within your kingdom.

In this season of Lent, we are mindful of your great love for us and for all creation, for sending your only Son to earth not just to teach all man anew the dimensions of your kingdom, but to save mankind through his death and resurrection. By your mercy, we can start a new life freed from fear and our darkness, so that we may live on to embody and bear witness to the good news of your kingdom. Yet dear God, this season of Lent is unlike any other before, as the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed twenty thousand and more lives worldwide. Many cities are put into lockdown and all elements of normal life have been impacted in unprecedented ways. As countless people are in dismay, fear and grieve, some ask why you would allow this to happen—Are you not a merciful God?

Dear God, many forget at 2,000 years after our Lord, man is still striving for self-gratification and material gains. Families are falling apart while the creation groans increasingly. The gap between the rich and poor is widening while many political leaders do what’s evil in your eyes. Among your people, we acknowledge many do not seek first your kingdom and your righteousness, and ignore defending the oppressed, the weak and the marginalized. Many are blind to your call for faithful stewardship and take that to mean management of one’s wealth rather than the redemptive care of your entire creation. Most are also blind to our creaturehood and forget we were not created for exploiting or destroying other co-creatures but to live together in a covenantal relationship. Worse is that many are blind to you as Sovereign King in all of life and choose to follow earthly kings and laws on days outside Sunday. So dear God, it must grieve you to see so many oblivious to structural sins like colonial sins, as most quietly enjoy being beneficiaries to such oppressive system whether in the East or the West.

Holy God, we have sinned when we do not care about global warming, since wild fires and crop failures impacted more on those in Third World or non-urban regions. We have sinned when we do not care about failed salmon runs, since it is the Indigenous people and not us who would go hungry. We have sinned when we do not care if Coastal GasLink pipeline goes ahead, since it will be mainly on unceded Indigenous territories where it will be built, where the water will be polluted and environmental impacts of fracking will be felt.

In addition to such selfishness, we lament many church leaders are re-practicing what the Pharisees did, focusing on outward religious deeds while neglecting the more important matters of the Law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. We lament many have turned following you into a religion, with many indulging in spiritual consumerism than the needed work of liberating the captives and the oppressed. We ask for your mercy as they dress the wound of your people as though it were not serious, saying ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

So can we ask for your forgiveness and then go back to the normal life of condoning evils, failing the call to be a people of hope, courage and love, and making the church more irrelevant to and marginalized by society? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?   As a just and jealous God, you have answered with an emphatic No. So we pray that the pandemic will awaken a rebellious people to the fact that you are God. Despite its horrors and related uncertainties, we are thankful that you put our lives to a halt, to stop us from assuming we are always in control, and to seek your face and mercy. As your people, we confess that we have sinned. We have not loved you with our whole heart nor have we loved our neighbours as ourselves.

So most merciful God, listen to our cry during this global pandemic. Have mercy on us according to your love. Deliver us from harm and cleanse us from our sins. Renew within us a right spirit and restore us to the joy of your salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.