It is a common thought that B.C. stands for “before Christ” but A.C., what does it mean? No, it is not a typographical error for A.D which stands for the Latin phrase “Anno Domini.” It is not a timeline either. BC is now the abbreviation for the phase for before COVID19 and AC for after COVID19. When you see this text BC-AC it should give us the idea of transition – a time element of before and after the pandemic. It is also an impression of change to the new normal taking place in our society today.
But the heart of the question as Christians is this, when we looked in our common experience, how do we see all these things from the spiritual perspective or more so from our faith in God? Or do we read it this way?
Biblical writers from OT and NT have these lenses of reading historical events from God’s perspective. Israelites would often ask the question, “What does this mean?” after going through a major event of trial and victory as a nation. We see this, for example, in the Passover celebration of the Israelites. In Exodus 13:14 we read, “In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
It is significant that we ask the same question and tell the next generation of our spiritual experience. What has God taught us in this worldwide pandemic? Has he not taught nations today cooperation and sympathy, not to mention how weak we really are against an invisible enemy? Has he not taught our government leaders today the fair distribution of goods to the poorest of the poor? And has he not taught our families today the importance of health and family values we have often neglected.
ECQ in some areas of our country has been lifted-off and soon we will survive and go over this crisis. But what testimony of faith will we tell others? Israelites would usually put a memorial to remind them of what God has done favorably on them after facing a national conflict. In Joshua 4:6, Joshua gave this instruction to the 12 tribes of Israel- “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.” Memorial serves as a sign among them and as a witness to the next generation. Biblically speaking, no context can exactly be the same. Yet, reminding ourselves of the faith meaning of what we are going through is teaching the next generation of our spiritual journey in life and encouraging the people around us today. What do all these events mean to us individually and collectively as a faith community? What personal incidents created an impact on our lives during this crisis? How would we remind ourselves of the lessons we have learned or still learning today?
As we end our reflection, we might want to ask ourselves these questions and share God’s impression in our hearts to encourage and inspire others in these difficult times. May we find courage in God’s promise of love in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”