When Disaster are Experienced in New Year
For the Chinese, the Koreans and the Vietnamese, New Year has justbegun. The first new moon or Luna New Year falls on 25 January 2020. It is the Year of the metal Rat, the animal that ranks first in the zodiac signs of the Chinese lunar calendar. The rat is an animal that many people do not really like. They are considered pests. In the middle ages, they were the culprits of the famous Black Plague that had claimed the lives of one third of the European population according to European history. Amusingly though, they are also loved by a lot of people particularly by those who go to the happiest place on earth – the Disneyland, where Mickey and Minnie Mouse reside.
Being a leap year, when the month of February has 29 days, a lot of superstitious beliefs are roaming around the world. Even some Christians are sharing eschatological stories via social media and describe the current calamities engulfing various parts of the world as signs of the impending end of the world. They claim that the ongoing bush fires in Australia, the very strong typhoons that hit several countries in the world and the recent volcanic eruption in the Philippines are considered clear signs of the biblical prophecy. Added to these natural calamities are the political protests of citizens in various countries against the oppressions they experienced from their government leaders. The recent spread of coronavirus, which is perceived to be more deadly than SARS that has originated from Wuhan, China, is another life threatening concern. Where the largest celebration of the Lunar New Year is celebrated. China had even cancelled many of its grand celebrations. The government deeply worries about how to contain the spread of the new killer disease. Death is just around the corner for many. Travel bans are being imposed by some government too if only to curtail its spread, applying particularly to those travellers coming from China.
Meanwhile, what is imminently irreversible is the effect of the abuse of humans towards creation. This seems to be neglected and continuous to be ignored by powerful world leaders who have all the means to mitigate the horrendous effects of global warming. More people have become direct victims of climate change. Those severely affected have lost their means of livelihood. The farmers and fishermen whose lives depend merely on the land they till and on the sea that surrounds them are the first usual victims. Of recent, more and more of them are leaving their homes and are forced to move to places where they see hope to survive. They add to the unrelenting rising number of migrants or refugees that had inundated many urban centers.
At the initial part of 2020, the world is already confronted by so many disasters. Christians have only one recourse: to pray more and to trust in the mercy of God that all these negative events will come to pass and will spare mankind from more destruction. For those who are able to help, this is the time really demonstrate the call of God to care for one another. This is the opportune time to translate faith into action.