#62 A Novel Virus

I woke up this morning to hear that all Chinese visitors have been banned from coming to Australia. That’s a big deal. As someone who works with predominantly Chinese students this is a big deal for me, too.

No, I’m not a doctor. No, I’m not a specialist in the transmission of communicable diseases. I am a Christian though, so I want to respond to this in the right way as a Christian, too. But what does that mean?

It means we use our brains.

If the Science tells us that there is a risk, then we should act in accordance with that risk. Yet we also should be careful not to react beyond it.

Earlier this week the NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, stated that he had been advised that forcing students to stay home from school for two weeks after leaving China was not absolutely necessary. However, he and the education minister were acting in accordance with “community expectations”.

We need to look after our health in Australia. That is true. Yet, it’s also true that we need to look after our hearts.

I feel like there is far too much sentiment floating around with people looking at those who spent time in China over the Australian summer and thinking: keep those filthy people away from me.

Those normal people who spent time with friends and family over their holidays, more like. Those friends and family just happen to be in China.

We need to look after our health in Australia. That it true. Yet, it’s also true that we need to look after our hearts.

We need to ensure we are not being racist. I spoke with some of my Year 12 students this week, via video link. They are in the country but forced to stay at home. Fortunately, none of them are ill. Also, fortunately, when I asked them if they felt like they were being discriminated against, they didn’t at this stage. We’ll see how they feel about that in two weeks’ time, when they arrive back and are behind in their studies for their final year of schooling.

Unable to come to school, because they are Chinese and in their homeland over the holidays. Not welcome, due to race. Hopefully only for scientific reasons.

As mentioned previously on this blog, when people think about Christianity, I think they often associate it with modern America. This is weird of course, when the religion actually comes from the ancient Jews.

I also get the impression that people don’t usually think of Christianity as a “multicultural faith”. And yet, it is, and always has been!! Consider this one passage (of many I could have picked):

 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.

This is a description of heaven, that John, the disciple receives in a vision. Regardless of whether you are welcome in a country or not, you are always welcome in Christianity. No matter where you come from, all are welcome to worship the Lamb, Jesus.

We need to look after our health in Australia. That it true. Yet, it’s also true that we need to look after our hearts.

Yours in reflection,

Alison

Image Credit: Image sourced from wikipedia

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