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Deborah Haarsma
 on March 19, 2020

Seeking Christ’s Kingdom During COVID-19

BioLogos is committed to sharing God's love and scientific knowledge during these uncertain times of COVID-19.

person sitting alone in a church pew

What a strange new world we live in! Everyone is adjusting to social distancing, a changing economy, and an uncertain future in light of COVID-19. Many of us are scared, worried, and facing loss of income. Please know that the team here at BioLogos is praying for everyone in our community at this time. Our staff is doing fine—staying healthy, following social distancing guidelines, and thankful that much of our ministry is already online. While many events featuring our Voices speakers have been cancelled or postponed, we’re setting up ways for you to hear them on our podcast and online events.

At this time more than ever, the church needs to live out biblical faith while also taking the findings of science seriously. I encourage you to read this March 17 interview with Francis Collins, director of NIH and founder of BioLogos. He explains the current virus situation, with realism and honesty, yet also points a hopeful way forward if we take action now. Collins is living out his faith through science and medicine, using his skills to care for others. And he is just one of a host of Christians right now in medicine, basic research, and public health who are using their God-given gifts to understand and fight this disease. Listen to our new podcast episode featuring three scientists from our network.

As Christians, our hope is in the Maker of heaven and earth. Walter Kim, the new President of the National Association of Evangelicals, sent an email recently on Psalm 46:1-3. He wrote ‘The psalmist embraces the reality and magnitude of life’s problem—the earth gives way, mountains quake, waters roar. But he puts everything under the title of an even greater reality: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”’

We need to resist worry and panic. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, reminds us to not put our confidence in ourselves or in earthly things (Matthew 6:19-34). While we need to plan and take action, we should not take more than we need or focus only on ourselves. Fear is often a symptom of seeing ourselves as independent and able to make it on our own strength. The reality is that we are dependent on our Creator and on each other. Our heavenly Father knows what we need even before we ask. The answer to worry and fear is to seek first Christ’s kingdom and His righteousness. 

gloved hand fist bump

A big part of seeking Christ’s kingdom is loving our neighbors. And here’s where it feels so backward: the best way you can care for others right now is to keep your distance and not spread the virus. We’re dealing with an invisible killer that you can transmit to others without even knowing it! Even without symptoms, you can be a carrier. So, please, follow the CDC guidelines and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Right now, the best scientific projections from public health experts is that the disease will overwhelm our hospital system if we don’t take these measures and flatten the curve.

Because we are distanced from each other physically, we need to make an extra effort to love our neighbors in other ways. We can always pray. The powerful Creator of heaven and earth invites us to cast our burdens on him (1 Peter 5:7), to bring to him our own needs and the needs of others. Please pray for healing for the sick, protection for the most vulnerable people, endurance for healthcare workers, insight for researchers, wisdom for government leaders, and a sense of unity for our communities and nation. In addition to prayer, we can take the time to call up friends and coworkers, to build stronger connections and counter the isolation. We can write cards to those in nursing homes, phone up a young person from church, or reach out on social media to old friends. Offer to drop off groceries for someone who has underlying health problems. Work with your church to assist those struggling to pay the rent. Let’s find creative ways to be the hands and feet of Christ at this time—share your ideas on the Forum.

At BioLogos, we’ll be here for you, to point you to reliable scientific information on the most pressing issues in our world today, and to reflect on it all through the lens of biblical faith. Keep your distance, keep praying, and do not fear!

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About the author

Deb Haarsma

Deborah Haarsma

Deborah Haarsma is President of BioLogos. She is an astrophysicist and frequent speaker on modern science and Christian faith at research universities, churches, and public venues like the National Press Club. Her work appears in several recent books, including Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Design and Christ and the Created Order.  She wrote the book Origins with her husband and fellow physicist, Loren Haarsma, presenting the agreements and disagreements among Christians regarding the history of life and the universe.  She edited the anthology Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church with Rev. Scott Hoezee. Previously, Haarsma served as professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin University. She is an experienced research scientist, with several publications in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. She has studied large galaxies, galaxy clusters, the curvature of space, and the expansion of the universe using telescopes around the world and in orbit.  Haarsma completed her doctoral work in astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her undergraduate work in physics and music at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She and Loren enjoy science fiction and classical music, and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.