The reports of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, will have triggered some difficult emotions in many of us. This is especially true as we’re leading up to Christmas, where there is the excitement of being able to celebrate in-person with our loved ones. The good news is that we don't have to face this uncertainty alone.
One of the problems with the new variant is that we just don’t know enough about it yet. There is a time of waiting as scientists find out more. Where there is uncertainty, fear can breed.
Turn to God
The Bible is full of examples of people throughout history who are facing uncertainty and who are fearful. And they all have something in common: how they turn to God.
In the psalms, we see how David does not hide his emotions from God. And we can be encouraged by his example to do the same. Jesus’ disciple Peter also tells us to: ‘Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter: 5:7)
Perfect love casts out fear. And who is love? God (1 John 4:16-18).
Turn to your neighbour
The pandemic has shown us how interconnected we all are. While each of us have our individual struggles in relation to the virus, it is something that affects us all.
Therefore, we must look out for each other – those in our immediate community, but also those further afield. One of the ways we can do this is in prayer.
Many of the countries that Tearfund is working in are facing a devastating rise in coronavirus cases – such as in Afghanistan – and do not have the healthcare infrastructure to cope. This is before we even take into consideration the risks the new variant could pose.
In this Advent season, where we celebrate Immanuel – God with us – let us emulate God’s love by uniting in prayer and support for our neighbours, wherever they live.
Pray with us
Please be close to us in this time of waiting and uncertainty. We cast our fears on you: comfort us, sustain us and guide us. Help us to look outside ourselves and draw strength from you to support others. We pray for protection for people around the world – especially those living in poverty – from coronavirus, and from this new strain, Omicron. As countries tighten restrictions to help slow the spread, we pray for provision of food, shelter and healthcare for people who do not have a safety net to fall back on.
In Jesus' name we pray, amen.