Corona & the Crown of Thorns


My message for Good Friday and Easter! (voor Nederlands volg deze link)

During these holy days, I often have to reflect on the coronavirus; how can I give a face to this humanitarian crisis? All those infected people who are fighting for their lives while their loved ones watching them helplessly! How about all the precious people in health care, risking their lives for the good of the others? Where can I start, and how can I reconcile this with my faith as a Christian?

I am reminded of Jesus entering Jerusalem on his donkey and being cheerfully welcomed - by the same people who wished Him to death and abandoned Him later in the week. The first thing Jesus did was walk into the temple and overturn the tables of money changers and vendors who were selling doves! Thus He clearly indicated to the religious people that the house of God is a house of prayer for all nations! Perhaps this is what the coronavirus does to religion today. In essence, it makes us realize that religion is not an enterprise, nor is faith intended for being overrighteous and legalistic. The temple of God, the church, is for all people - because God loves people no matter who they are. Maybe after the crisis everything has to change, and in particular our perception and exercise of our faith!

<< with Christ; the power of Love will guide us through this! Through suffering, mutual determination, and love for each other, we will rise again

Furthermore, the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem reminds me of the man-made systems of religion, politics, and economics, and perhaps even science that are currently confronted with the virus. It gives me a feeling of powerlessness, maybe even a sense of abandonment. Even his own disciples no longer knew Him. Powerless, He was left to the pain and death on the cross! With a crown of thorns that reminds me of a lot of corona. The corona, the crown of thorns worn by the suffering Physician Himself. What a pain, and what a pain! I now see this Thorn Crown Doctor again, in the eyes of a nurse, doctor, researcher, fillers, cleaners, the sick, refugees, and the homeless. In them, I once again recognize the suffering Jesus who bleeds with us, coughs and cries, adorned with a crown of thorns that I call corona.

As a follower of Jesus, I also know that death was powerless against this Suffering Friend on the cross. The power of the crown of thorns could not overpower Him - because hope, faith, and love are stronger than the power of darkness. This, to me, is the meaning of the Resurrection in 2020. I am convinced that we will go through this with Christ; the power of Love will guide us through this! Through suffering, mutual determination, and love for each other, we will rise again and start all over again. Everything will become beautiful again and precious every moment. Then we realize that life can be so beautiful, and we learn to appreciate everything again, from small to large. We will hug each other again and every "I love you" will be genuinely felt! That's for me Resurrection: so that the generations after us will be reminded of the corona and the crown of thorns.

Wishing you a hopeful Good Friday and a Happy Easter in Advance!

Samuel Lee

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© 2010-2019 by Samuel C. Lee

 

Samuel Lee (Ph.D.) is university lecturer, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT-VU), and director for Center for Theology of Migration, the educational program of Samen Kerk in Nederland at the FRT-VU. 

He is the founder of Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, offering higher education in liberal arts and humanities for migrants, refugees and persecuted minorities.

 

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