Covid-19 pandemic

Balangkas: A dialogue to help people understand health issues during the covid-19 pandemic and to understand that sin is an even greater danger.

Bilang ng Talata:496
Tema:Medical; Sickness
Tagapakinig:General; Sick people
Klase:Bible Stories & Teac
Antas ng kaalaman:General
Layunin:Evangelism; Teaching; Welfare
Kawikaan mula sa Bibliya:Minimal

Ang talatang ito ay panimulang gabay para sa pagsasalin at pagrerekord sa ibang mga wika.Dapat ito´y naaangkop sa ibat ibang kultura at mga wika upang ito´y maging makabuluhan sa anumang lugar na pag gagamitan. May ilang mga salita at kaisipan na maaaring mangailangan ng mas malawak na paliwanag o maaaring ipagpaliban ang paggamit para sa ibang mga kultura.

Salita ng Talata

Worried about getting sick

1. Hello my friend. How are you today?

2 Hello to you also. Thank you. I am well and I hope all is well with you.

1. Thank you. I am well I’m glad to say but I have to admit that I am a bit anxious (frightened). This disease that is going around is killing thousands – even in advanced western countries. You never know where it will spread next or who will get sick.

2. That is true.

1. And it is hard to know who to believe. Some say if you eat certain foods or drink special drinks you won’t catch it. Other say we must offer sacrifices. Someone has even said we should not use our mobile phones! Truly I would do almost anything to protect myself and my family.

2. I’m glad to hear it. I have studied a little about this disease and maybe I can help you a bit.

1. Please do. I am eager to learn.

2. Well firstly, what you eat or drink won’t really make any difference. So you don’t have to buy expensive or special.

1. That’s good news but it doesn’t help protect me.

2. You are right. Secondly, this disease is a virus. It is spread by people who already have it. If they cough or sneeze on you or even touch you, or if you touch something they have recently touched you can catch the virus. So offering sacrifices or any kind of religious activity is certainly no guarantee that you won’t get sick. Unfortunately people who have the virus may not show signs or symptoms of being sick at first but they can still spread the infection to others.

1. That is scary. Is there anyway to protect ourselves.

2. There are certainly things you can do to help protect yourself and those around you.

Because you can get the virus by touching a bench or something where the virus as landed, you should wash your hands frequently, with soap and water for about 20seconds each time. You should do this especially after using the toilet (what ever expression is appropriate in your area), after you come home from being out at the market or any public place and before you prepared food. Also if you are out in the market, try to avoid touching your face. The virus gets into your body when it gets onto you hands and then your hands transfer it to your mouth, nose or eyes.

The other very important thing you should do, is try to stay at least one and a half metres, or two arm lengths, from other people in public. This is because when someone coughs or sneezes that is about how far the virus will travel in the air.

1. That is very difficult to do when it is so crowded.

2. You are right. That is why the government is encouraging people to stay home.

1. But I have to work.

2. Yes it is a very difficult situation to be in. But even if you have to work, you should still try to keep that distance away from others if you can. This is for your benefit and also to stop you spreading the disease if you happen to catch it. You would not want to be the one to pass this terrible disease on to your family or friends would you? So be very careful to cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper arm or into a tissue – then be careful to throw the tissue in a garbage bin. If you throw it on the street it may infect someone else.

1. Will doing these things stop me getting sick?

2. No but they will help you avoid getting infected.

There is something else you should know. If someone catches the virus, it may give the person a sore throat, a cough or a fever but then it affects the lungs and their breathing. It is particularly dangerous for older people and those who are already sick. In severe cases it can cause a person to stop breathing and die. We must be specially careful to protect older people and those who are sick. They should not go out in public and they should keep at least 1.5 metres from other people and wash their hands carefully and often.

1. I’ll remember that. I want to protect my parents and other older people.

Thank you for telling me these things. I am still a bit worried but I understand a little better now.

2. Maybe I can help you with your worry also. But before I do that, I think I have to cause you a little more worry!

1. What do you mean cause me worry? I’m worried already.

A bigger concern

2. Well, do you know there is a disease that it much more serious than Covid-19 (or any other disease)?

1. Well, I know that there are other serious diseases like cancer but not so many people get those diseases and you don’t catch the disease from those who have it.

2. That’s true but, the disease that I am talking about is found in every country of the world. It affects every person. Most people don’t even know that they have it and it results not just in physical death but in spiritual death and separation from God - for ever.

1. What is this terrible disease? I don’t think I have it yet and I don’t want it.

2. But you already have it and like most people, you are not even aware of it.

1. What are you talking about?

2. I’m talking about sin.

1. What? Sin is bad things that people do, like murder and stealing. I don’t do bad things.

2. Sin is not just the bad things we do. Sin is an attitude in our hearts that says, “I don’t need God”. I don’t want to follow his way. I want to live the way I want to. And it is very serious.

The Bible helps us understand sin. It started right back at the beginning when God made the world and everything in it. God gave the first people instructions on how to live. But they decided they did not want to follow God’s instructions so they dishonoured God and rebelled against him.

Because they dishonoured God and did not follow his instructions, they and the whole world were affected. It’s like a curse. Sickness, death, fighting, and evil of all kinds resulted from the sin of those first people and we too are affected. We are all sinners. In fact we are all born with a sinful nature. If left to ourselves we will try to avoid God and do what we want.

1. Just a minute. I know some really good people; surely you wouldn’t call them sinners.

2. It doesn’t really matter what I call them but the Bible says it very clearly, “Everyone has sinned. We all fall short of God’s standard”1. Even the great King David said, “I was born a sinner”2

So Covid-19 affects many people but sin affects everyone.

1. But do people die from it?

2. Yes they do. Right back at the beginning, when God made the world, everything was wonderful. The world was beautiful and peaceful. There was no violence, anger, sickness or any other bad thing. God told the first people what they needed to do to keep it that way, but he also said, ‘If you ignore my instructions you will die!’3 But Satan, the evil enemy of God tricked them and they decided to ignore God’s instructions. Because of this, sickness, evil and death came into the world.

The Bible also says, “The wages of sin is death” and that means spiritual death for ever. So unless we can get our sin dealt with. We will be separated from God forever and will miss out on a wonderful relationship with God in this life and on all the wonderful blessings that God has for us after this life.

1. That doesn’t sound good.

2. It is not at all good but the good news is that there is a cure.

1. Please tell me what it is. I want to know.

Hope and help

2. I will! And this is really good news which the Bible tells us over and over again. Listen…
“This is a trustworthy saying and everyone should accept it. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”5

1. Just a minute. Who is this Christ Jesus and how did he save us.

2. The word ‘Christ’ means specially chosen one. So Jesus was the one that God chose to deal with our sin. When you read the Bible, you will learn that Jesus was actually God who came into the world as a man. He came to fix the problem of our sin so we could be friends with God forever.

1. Why would he do that?

2. Because he loves us. God is our creator (maker). He made us and he loves us and he doesn’t want us to stay separated from him for ever. But he could not just ignore our rebellion and sin. He had to deal with it. The Bible explains, “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish (die) but have eternal life. (life that lasts forever).”

1. I didn’t realised God loves us so much. But how did Jesus fix the problem of sin?

2. You know what happens if you break the law of our country. You get taken to court and the judge will punish you for doing the wrong thing. Maybe you will have to pay a fine or maybe go to jail. The fine or jail sentence is the penalty or the punishment for breaking the law.

There is a penalty for breaking God’s law and for dishonouring him. Jesus came to take (receive) the penalty for our sin and rebellion against God. Jesus lived a perfect life but he was arrested, falsely charged and was executed by being nailed to a wooden cross. He was not guilty and did not deserve to die but when he died he took our place. He took our punishment. He died so that we could live forever with God.

1. How do we know that when Jesus died he took our punishment? How do we know that it works for us?

2. We know because Jesus did not stay dead. He came back to life on the third day after he was killed. Because he was God, he had power over death. Because he had paid the penalty for our sin he could give us eternal life. As the Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life.”

1. This is a little hard to understand.

2. Yes it is a bit, but we don’t have to understand all the details about how it works. Just like we don’t have to understand about electricity to turn the lights on! We just have to trust what God has said. Remember, “Whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but have eternal life.” Life that will go on forever with God.

And there are millions of people who have trusted God’s words and found them to be true.
They know that God has forgiven their sin and rebellion. They can face the uncertainties of this world knowing that they are in God’s hands for this life and for all time. So even if they have to go through hard times or even get sick and die as a result of some disease they know that God will take them to be with himself forever.

So understanding about the cure for sin helps us not to worry so much about covid-19 because we know that whatever happens, God is in control and he loves us. As the Bible says, There is no need to be anxious and worry, we can talk to God about anything that is bothering us, at the same time thanking him for all that he does. And God will give us his amazing peace.6

Well, what do you think? Do you want the cure for your sin and to know that you are right with God?

1. I think I do but I need to think about it a bit more. You see it’s not just about me. My wife is also very worried. Nearly everyone I know is worried. If what you say is true they need to hear this also.

2. Yes they do. They need to learn about protecting themselves from the virus and even more importantly they need to hear the good news about Jesus. So take some time to think more about this. You can even ask God to help you understand. Then, when you are ready, you can just talk to God as if he is right here – he is! You don’t need special words. You just need to be sincere (honest) in your heart. Tell God that you are sorry for having ignored him. Tell him that you want to change. Thank him for sending Jesus to die in your place and invite him to come into your life and take control and help you to live a life that pleases God.

That’s the start. But just like when a baby is born they need a lot of care and help. So when a person becomes a follower of Jesus they are like a new baby who needs support, care and help. So make sure you connect with some others who follow Jesus. Learn what God says in the Bible and live according to his instructions. Pray – talk to him often abut what is going on for you. In that way you will grow and mature as a member of God’s family.

1. Thank you so much for your help and time. I have learned a little about coping with the Covid-19 disease but more importantly I have learned how to be saved from the greatest danger of all - the curse of sin. Good bye for now.

2. Good bye.