The coronavirus saga really brings out the creativity of many people although the negativity attached to the pandemic is alarming. A lot of creative hands these few months have climbed national stages to outdoor their hidden talents. Factories and homes are turned into places of making manual protective equipment. Machines producing these equipment have now been outweighed by the manual craftsmen and craftswomen. The world is at its best now calling all hands to be on deck. Indeed, these equipment protect the human agent from the virus. In fact, these few months of the saga, I have done a lot of musings and reflections about how the whole globe is now at each other’s beck and call. Can Christians be involved in creative ways of evangelization? Can we be handy and protect our Christian lives like the PPEs (Personal protective equipment) that we use every day? This is a summon, let us get our PPEs (Personal protective Evangelizations) ready.
Interestingly because of the virus, many institutions have been shut down. Churches have resumed their congregational activities but a lot of congregants are at home. Some people are accustomed to the ‘virtual Christian life’ such that they prefer live streaming of the Mass or services than going physically to the chapels for worship. In fact, I will be quick to add that some Churches and members have genuine reasons for their actions. Let us now muse on some importance of the PPEs (Personal protective equipment) vis-à-vis the Christian PPEs (Personal Protective Evangelizations).
1. PPE is needed when there are hazards present. And Christians need their Personal Protective Evangelization (PPE) in these times.
Christians in the midst of the coronavirus have been battered by hazards of different dimensions. Their personal, social, emotional and communal lives are directed by the virus’ protocols. But the Christian protocols help us to obtain for ourselves the personal protective evangelization which will lead us on. The purpose of personal protective equipment is to reduce employee exposure to hazards. For us Christians the hazards are enormous since now some prefer the ‘virtual Christian’ to that which we use to be. Christians are now glued to the virtual life than the assembly we use to be. Many have genuine reasons for this but we should protect ourselves as Christians through evangelization. The pandemic should prompt us to bring out creative ways to improve on the new normal. Christians must be ready to walk out of this hazard of a virus by becoming people who are better Christians than before.
2. Any item of PPE imposes a barrier between the wearer/user and the working environment.
Through evangelization, Christians will be protected against the hazards that the virus pose to our Christian lives. Christians must come to realize “the message of Jesus that God wants to speak to the world by our lives. Let yourself be transformed. Let yourself be renewed by the Spirit, so that this can happen, lest you fail in your precious mission.” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 24) Evangelization in these times will help us renew and help others to achieve their precious mission as Christians. Therefore, as part of our evangelizing mission, we must reach out to people (especially the lapsed, the aged, the sick) in order to protect them from the hazards of the Christian life. This is the time for Christians to evangelize the world because like the PPEs, the Christian must be protected from all sorts of ways which are contrary to the Christian life.
3. Christians must adopt creative ways of evangelization to provide hierarchy of controls in these times.
In every work place or factory, there is a policy framework which ranks the types of hazard controls in terms of absolute risk reduction. Christians must adopt creative ways of evangelization in order to curb itinerant preachers who are using the era to confuse them. God is always “at work within us and is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). PPEs have tremendous utility to control the hazards within our Christian lives. Christians must be bold to use the social media to evangelize. Christians must be bold about their faith so that they can “entrust to reliable people (reliable Christian generation) everything we have learned from me (Jesus, St. Paul) in the presence of many witnesses, that they may entrust others” (2 Tim 2:2). If Christians are able to find creative ways to evangelize the world, then they will be true witnesses of the Gospel message. We should always remember that the risks caused by the pandemic to the Christian lives and assemblies need more protection. And personally, we can protect our Christian lives through our creative PPEs (Personal Protective Evangelizations)
We must get our PPEs ready. Let us remember also that for us Christians COVID means Catholics must Overcome the Virus of Itinerant Detractors through the use of their PPEs.
Source: Michael Selasi Combey