Bishop George Lungu says the coming of the coronavirus has led to a lot of false prophecies and confusion in the world.
“It’s just recently when I received a WhatsApp message which advised that people should remain indoors on May 8th, 2020 because there would be total darkness for three days. The message indicated that God was going to kill those who do not listen to him. The people were advised to lock themselves in houses and stock enough food to last three days. But today is May 17, 2020 and nothing has happened,” he says.
Bishop Lungu also says people should not lose hope because COVID-19 would one day come to an end and church gatherings would start, although things might slightly change compared to the way it was in the past. This pandemic has really changed a lot of things. Its impact on all spheres of life are huge. It has not only shaken multilateralism but it’s threatening the very existence of global institutions humanity has relied on to resolve socio-economic and political upheavals.
Now US President Donald Trump is threatening pulling out or permanently stopping America’s contribution/funding to the World Health Organisation. At the same time the WHO is warning us that the novel coronavirus will not go away any time soon! And we are told a vaccine may only be available in six months to a year. In the meantime, economies are crumbling. Just on Monday, Japan was said to be slipping into recession. For Third World countries like Zambia, the fear of debt default looms high. What about employment? What does this new normal mean?
It is also clear that the reality that this pandemic will leave our already limping economy in a shamble, has already dawned on our people – from street vendors to people who run their own small businesses to employees of big companies – they are all already feeling the pinch of it.
There’s desperation all over. But why are people desperate, is the basic question?
According to Bishop Lungu, there are no superficial answers, but, “Ask and ask till you get to the bottom of the source of desperation. Next is to face honestly those ‘devils’ that ignite feelings of desperation. The end of the world will certainly come, whether we like it or not. That is the faith I profess and that is the faith I preach. The when is not important but the how to prepare for it so that I do not regret having wasted my time in the world with things that were meant to be means to an end and not an end in themselves (Luke 12:13 – 21). Exams day will come, what is important is not really knowing when but how to prepare, and to pass it with flying colours. (Mark 13: 32-37). Calm down in this ‘Ship’, that is now being battered by the coronavirus, has Jesus whom to us seems asleep. No, he is not. His hour will come for him to give the last word. Trust him and you will not be disappointed. (Mark 4:35 – 41.).”
So, we join Bishop Lungu in appealing to our people to hold their peace. Their biggest preoccupation, for now, would be to see how they survive this pandemic while having a meaningful life. They should not listen so much to doomsayers, diviners and fortune tellers. Rather, let them believe in their abilities to pull through this until everything gets back to normal.