24.03.20 | News, Corona

Courage in Times of Insecurity

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of considerateness. (2 Tim 1:7)

We think of those who are near and far and pray for those who are in particular need of God's help.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

at present, the corona virus is defining people's lives in many regions of the EMS Fellowship. While many are staying at home and avoiding all social contacts, others are doing their utmost to sustain the provision of health care, maintain public order or supply essential goods. At the same time, we are keeping a careful eye on the world-wide impacts of current developments and many are very worried about their very existence.

Currently, worship services and meetings are forbidden in many churches so we are looking for other ways of finding strength in God's word and staying in contact with one another. Due to everything that is happening at the moment, I would like to send you words of encouragement. "For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline." So wrote Paul to Timothy to give him strength for the tasks that lay before him. And he points out three criteria that are also very useful in making decisions in these times:

Go your path with courage and confidence, he writes to him, and do not let yourself be overcome by a spirit of cowardice. As the saying goes, "Fear is a bad counsellor". Our faith encourages us to let ourselves be guided by trust and confidence in our decisions and not to let worries gain power over us.

Let yourself be guided by love is Paul's advice. Let us base our decisions on what is best for all those involved. "The other is infinitely important" writes Dietrich Bonhoeffer in one of his letters. In times of crisis, we are tempted to think of ourselves first. However, in the present situation, the important thing is to support one another wherever possible. We think of those who are near and far and pray for those who are in particular need of God's help.

Stay considerate, writes Paul. What a wonderful, old-fashioned word! In actual fact, what this means here is to pause briefly in the most urgent situation and take time to reflect. Is what we are planning really the next thing to do? Is the next step that we take a step in the right direction?

In these times, I hope you will always feel strengthened in your faith - whatever challenges you may face. And I hope that God's spirit will be with you with his power, with love and considerateness. Let us stick together in the spirit of Jesus Christ, in the power of love and prudence.

In cordial friendship,
Dieter Heidtmann