How to Manage Creation, Healthcare, Politics and the Economy in 2020.
Lessons from Covid-19 - #8
What happened two millennia ago, written in Holy Scripture, that can be used to guide our modern simultaneous complexities of a pandemic, an economic paralysis, and a climate crisis? How can a redesigned health system pull all these together?
Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament law, through a New Covenant in His blood. How did this New Covenant get expressed as a method for the disciples to use when preparing for the complexities of antiquity, and still applicable today?
Old Testament kings all exhibited a greater or lesser degree of human failings. Nonetheless, the perfect Christ ( Messiah) of the New Testament was prophesied to be in the line of King David, and was announced in the Christmas carol:
“Hark the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King” (Wesley, Whitfield, Mendelssohn)
Even Jesus’ own disciples struggled with His essential nature and purpose, causing him to use parables to give listeners a sense of the new Kingdom qualities:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed... the smallest of all seeds , yet when it grows it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matt 13:31-32)
And when he was questioned by Pilate at his trial as to his identity as a king, he responded:
“My Kingdom is not of this world....But now my kingdom is from another place (John 18:36)
In dealing with the relationship between citizens and the power structure of the day, He did not counsel withholding , but instead:
“Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s , and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt 22:21)
There are verses applicable to health care:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
This points to care being required for the disadvantaged and vulnerable. In antiquity, the elderly were a smaller group and nursing homes did not exist. The high death rate in personal care homes in Covid-19 in Canada is related to a breakdown in health care systems and the complex relationships among social organization, healthcare organization and economies.
Although the New Testament will be shown to be the source for a better model for system organization, Jesus predicted that epidemics would occur right up to the end:
“There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences (plagues and pandemics) in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11)
But Jesus , through the apostle Paul, described how his Church was to be organized. We have previously discussed that a human being is a complex adaptive system. Similarly, the Church is referred to as the body of Christ, is also a complex adaptive system, and Paul illustrates this with:
“Just as a body , though one, has many parts, but all of its parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” ( 1Cor 12;12).
This is a universal representation of an organizational model for complexity :
“For we are all baptized by the one Spirit so as to form one body- whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free -“ (1 Cor 12:13)
And the Church was not a temporary organization to be superseded by something else:
“...and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matt 16:18).
Coming up.... we will go into more detail on the way the church was organized that remains applicable today in our desire to integrate health, the economy, and pandemic management.
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