二○二○年五月十六日／五月十七日 Click here for English version
過去三個多月，香港人一直留在家中抗疫，到了 5 月初的公眾假期，大家都湧到海灘及郊外。有人說鬱悶在家實在太久，再不出去走走真怕會悶瘋了。
Growing in the Pandemic
Rev Hung Kwai Fong
For more than three months, Hong Kong people have been homebound. And when the public holiday in early May finally arrived, people went flocking to beaches and the countryside. It has been a long time. Some say they may go mad if they do not go outside.
We are accustomed to being busy. It is difficult to adapt to pauses. Likewise, many believers are accustomed to being a Martha. But the prophet Isaiah has reprimanded the Israelites: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it"' (Isaiah 30:15). The coronavirus pandemic presents an opportunity to regain rest, to reflect on our lives and to grow.
Amid the global lockdown, we take a good look at ourselves - our toils and moils, our priorities in life. Jesus said: "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" (Matthew 16:26) The suspension of in-church meetings and ministry, and entertainment has allowed more time for some believers to do their daily devotional and prayer, praying for good health for themselves and their family, and an end to the pandemic in Hong Kong and the world. They feel that they are closer to God than before. They dig out some Christian literature and attend online courses. They find that resources are truly abundant! Those who are usually not able to attend Putonghua worship service, English worship service and TC5, and even youth and children's worship services can now benefit spiritually from all the pre-recorded worship services. There has recently been a shortage of flour supply. And that is because many people make their own cakes and bread at home. They become better cooks.
There is bound to be some tension when parents work from home and children cannot go to school yet. Some parents find it really tough. Some others do cherish the opportunities to stay together and communicate. They use whatever is available at home to create games, play, do crafts, cook and exercise with their children in the limited space. At night time, they read Bible stories to their children at bedside, pray and have family worship, thus strengthening family ties.
Some brothers and sisters send regards to fellow believers by phone and text, pray for them, share anti-pandemic products and even deliver communion packs to them. Some others assiduously explain, encourage and assist those who cannot handle online meetings so they can continue to worship and meet online. In the pandemic, they not only care about their own business, but also that of others.
The pandemic must have happened with God's permission. And many people try to guess why God allow it to happen. For one thing, I think it gives us an opportunity to stop and examine our lives, adjust our direction and practice mutual care and support. All of these please God. May God teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.