Making the most of lockdown

Tom Kendall 30 Mar 20

Whether we like it or not we find ourselves in lockdown for the foreseeable future. It’s a bit of a mixed bag; for many lockdown means isolation, loneliness, boredom. It means worry and fear about relatives, friends, and colleagues at risk of, or fighting the virus. For others it means rest, recuperation, excitement. It means joy at the thought of resting up after a busy year, of extra time to pursue hobbies and passions, of time to help others and develop. 

Many of us will hold a mix of these thoughts and emotions and we need to ensure we cling to the hope of the gospel. This is a true and certain hope which, because of Christ, we can cry out ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' (1 Corinthians 15:55). [1]

As Christians looking to enter politics we have such an opportunity during this time of lockdown to do good and love our neighbour and better equip ourselves to handle the challenges and opportunities of the public square. Here I outline some ways in which we can make the most of this time: 

Love God 

As we see above, the power of sin and death has been utterly defeated in Christ’s resurrection. Our natural response to this should be to praise God just as Paul, the writer of the letter to the Corinthians does; ‘But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

He goes on to urge the church in Corinth to ‘stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain’ (1 Corinthians 15:58). 

Paul’s response to the wonderful saving hope of the gospel is a beautiful model for us to follow. We are to praise God for this certain hope and then we are to continue to build our lives on it. With coronavirus disrupting everything we know of modern life it would be easy to move from the hope of the gospel and let fear reign. Yet victory has been won and so why would we go anywhere else? 

Instead, Paul’s model urges us to keep working for the Lord, to keep serving Him. This might look different – our churches, CU’s, and homegroups are all likely to now be meeting online and we can no longer host events, flyer, or evangelise in the traditional manner. This does not mean that work stops though. No let, us continue to praise God in whom we find victory and to make him known to the world around us. 

How could you practically be seeking to grow in your love for God during the lockdown? How could you be strengthening your understanding of the gospel in this time? How can you praise God, stand firm, and give yourself fully to the work of the Lord?  

Love others 

Loving God is the firm foundation for all other good work. With this in place let us seek to be caring for others in a time when many people are scared, in need, lonely and isolated. The Bible’s concern for the needy is clear. Take Proverbs 22:22-23 for example: ‘Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.’

God is a God who cares for those who lack. He is a loving God who cares for his creation and a loving father who cares for his people. One good way to make the most of this time in lockdown is to share this concern. 

What could you be doing to help those in need at this time? Perhaps you could regularly ring someone you know is on their own to keep them company? Or you could volunteer with the NHS? Or deliver food to those who can’t go out?

Our chief lack of course is our separation from God. We have sinned against him and broken our relationship with God, humanity, and creation. Death is the very real consequence of this rebellion. Coronavirus doesn’t change this – amongst the rising practical needs remains the age-old need for reconciliation with our creator.

Praise God for he has provided in our lack. Romans 6:23 highlights what we were learning in 1 Corinthians 15 – that death, that sin has been defeated once and for all. Paul writes ‘[f]or the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In this time of real need how can we be speaking of the true salvation found in Christ? 

Love politics 

In light of loving God and neighbour the lockdown is an opportunity for us to test out and formulate our politics. It is a time to be applying our Christian worldview to our political convictions and pursuing a radically different politics. 

This is a time to think, to read to challenge, to debate, and to shape our political beliefs in line with God’s word. We want to regularly open ourselves up for scrutiny and check our worldview matches up with God’s creation and therefore the realities around us. So what better than having plenty of time inside to explore theology, political theory, and political practice to work out what you think, what God thinks, and what that means for us here in the UK?

Why not …

  • Read some of the books we have reviewed here at the UCCF Politics Network? 
  • Read some political theory and figure out what in each theory is good and what does it get wrong? Try at each moment to compare them with Biblical truths.
  • Check out some of the podcasts we have reviewed here at the UCCF Politics Network?
  • Check out this wonderful bank of resources on Politics, Law, and Government provided by the Forum of Christian Leaders: https://foclonline.org/contentlisting?terms2%5Btid%5D=73?
  • Try out the Living Christianity course from the Christian Institute which we have reviewed?
  • You could even skype/zoom each other and debate a book or philosophy?

Do get in touch with any other ideas you may have…

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[1] (See https://www.uccfleadershipnetwork.org/posts/politics-in-a-pandemic for some further thoughts on hope in an age of pandemic). 

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