There is a very real sense in which the spread of Covid-19, the newest of the Corona virus family, is not really all that new at all. There have been viruses that have spread around the world before and we are indeed blessed to have never been as well prepared as we are in these days. Yet despite our technical expertise, and world-wide collaboration there are things we can learn from the experience of others down through history.
I remember best the Black Death as we now know it, back then it was just the plague. I remember it because we had a brand-new history teacher at school who made the subject come alive by setting up a brilliant set of lessons where teams of 6 of us had to defeat the black death as it came to our village. I can still remember it now nearly 40 years later!
Anyway in 1348 the plague arrived in England, at Weymouth by boat from France we believe, and in a few months it had reached London; a year later it had covered the whole of the Country. The spread was slower than today but the mortality higher; without our modern health care as many as 40% of the population died.
Such a terrible tragedy was still in the mind of many 7 years later and one such was John Wycliffe. Already at Oxford when the Plague arrived, he was deeply affected by what he had experienced; he was left with an abiding impression of the frailty, fallenness and mortality of men and women and especially himself. Comparing this with the Love and Grace of God offered freely to him and discovered in the then Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent writings, Wycliffe became a Christian.
He went on to translate the Bible into English believing that, “Englishmen learn Christ's law best in English. Moses heard God's law in his own tongue; so did Christ's apostles.” Wycliffe found in Jesus Christ the comfort of knowing our Creator God who is all powerful over even pandemics of viruses. He said, “We are under God's power, and we can do nothing but by the power of God, and woe shall hereafter be to us if we abuse this power.”
If you would like to meet this Jesus you can, He still becomes friends with people today, as He did with Wycliffe. Join us at church on Sundays via YouTube (10:15am). There is a link on our website (www.trinity-manningtree.org.uk) or you can request to connect by emailing .uk or phone 01206 393745.