As I write, the coronavirus pandemic has shut down the planet—churches, schools, museums, borders, economic markets, the city of New York, the nation of India. To flatten the curve of contagion and to not overwhelm health care capacities, the whole world has been firmly instructed to keep socially distant and self-quarantine if sick. CT has published an unprecedented volume of online content equipping the church to respond faithfully to COVID-19. We remain firmly committed to the print magazine but decided to print this issue as a combined May/June issue in order to soften the economic challenges and best serve the church in this moment.
The pandemic presses us Christians into practicing our communal faith as a digital body of Christ. Yet our prayers persevere unimpeded. You don’t have to be together to pray. You don’t even have to speak words (Rom. 8:26).
The situation has moved so rapidly that you, possibly reading this while hunkered down in your house, may know by now whether hand washing and more assertive public health measures have warded off the worst. Doomsday scenarios forebode billions infected and millions dead—mostly the old, the already sick, and the poor. Best-case scenarios show the coronavirus petering out with help from drugs and warm weather.
For all of its hardship, I pray the pandemic left us only as the apostle Paul promised, “struck down but not destroyed” and “[always carrying] around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Cor. 4:9–10). Paul uses the word body as a singular, suggesting that he may have in mind our collective body as Christians, whether physical or digital. Our whole-body response ...1
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