2020 is no doubt a year we will remember but not exactly as planned. No Europa League. No Formula 1. No Summer Olympics. Almost certainly no big celebrations of 75 years of the ‘liberation of Europe’. All these events have been cancelled due to a virus going around and making thousands of casualties.
The threat is real, and we all want the pandemic to stop and we want it to stop immediately. If you go by the comments on social media, there are millions of pretending virologists out there and they all stand ready with good advice for the authorities. As we already mentioned in the Bad Blankenburg Call to Action last year, “we expect our governments to fix every problem and guarantee our safety.” According to the countless self-declared experts on social media and elsewhere, the authorities have so far failed to do so. And if it is not our own government to blame for the pandemic, then it must be someone or something else. If no one can be held responsible for COVID-19 and the massive impact on our lives, it could happen over and over again and that’s an unbearable thought for many in our societies these days.
So, even before the pandemic is over, the scapegoating has already started. It is China, it is our government, it is our mayor, or our neighbour. Seventy-five years after the end of WWII, doesn’t this ring a bell? Are we as Evangelicals going with this flow or are we bold enough to go against the current?
Over the last few weeks, many churches have gone digital and what is more, many have seen their audience grow significantly. In this time of insecurity and anxiety, people are desperate for a message of comfort and hope. Rather than a scapegoat nearby, they need a lamb, the lamb of God (Jesus Christ) and the peace beyond understanding only He can give. Are we ready to present this message of comfort and hope in the midst of the turmoil? This message will bring wandering souls to rest and hopefully prolong the peace which many parts of Europe have enjoyed.
Arie de Pater
EEA Brussels Representative