Believe God in hospitals

"Is Corona a punishment from God?"

First: Nobody knows what God thinks.

Anyone who claims these days that the corona pandemic is a punishment from God and quotes verses from the Bible must be asked: How do you know that? From the bible? And then why are there Christians who are convinced that the corona pandemic is not a punishment from God and who also quote verses from the same Bible?

This basic statement runs through the entire Bible: God knows our thoughts, but we do not know God's thoughts. For this reason, the Bible warns against forming an image of God from the very first few pages. My image of God is shaped by my thoughts and experiences, but God is greater than my experiences.

Second, our life is fragile.

It always has been. This fragility applies to all people, to all of society, to all of the world's population and even to the climate. We were able to ignore this unpleasant fact for a moment because the sick and dying have mostly disappeared from our family and hospitals and nursing homes and because an almost perfect entertainment industry has drawn our attention to more pleasant things. But the corona crisis painfully reminds us of our fragility again.

Third, the strength of science is that it learns from its mistakes and gets better and better as a result.

Every scientific statement is considered to be correct until it is proven to be incorrect by a new scientific finding. In this way, scientific predictions become “less and less wrong” step by step. While the first corona infections were reported from Wuhan, scientists have forecast the further course of this pandemic with astonishing precision, so that governments were forewarned and could take precautions.

Fourth: Man is looking for meaning.

People who can make sense of what they do or suffer are often willing to make great sacrifices. The pain of childbirth has the purpose of giving life to a new person. Conversely, senseless suffering can destroy people physically and mentally. That is why people look for meaning even in disaster.

What is the point of this corona epidemic? The number of answers to this question is equal to the number of people who ask it. Mind is like belief: everyone has to find their own answer. And no one has the right to dictate to another person what meaning he should find in it.

It may well be that a person interprets the corona epidemic as a punishment for sins committed and therefore asks God for forgiveness. That is his personal interpretation. The virus itself makes no distinction between good and bad people.

Another person may become aware of their own vulnerability and the life-saving medical equipment in our hospitals and thank God for them.

A third person, like Job, may accuse God. For him, the corona epidemic remains pointless for a lifetime because a loved one died from it.

The key question in the end is: What can I believe for my life?

Matthias Hülsmann, lecturer for theological training and church education at the RPI Loccum