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Writing about Covid is a little distressing. Here in Korea we are entering what seems to be a “third wave.” But trust the Koreans to turn it into an occasion for hope. Check out this ten-minute video of an amazing drone show that the Korean government put on a couple of weeks ago that highlights getting through the covid year 2020 as a great achievement:

Inspired by the outlook I have experienced here in Korea, I prepared a short theological reflection on Covid-19 and Christmas for the PROK. Let me share it with you here as my Advent gift to you:

When the first wave of coronavirus arrived earlier this year, I got through by bracing myself and trusting that things would eventually return to normal. But now that we have experienced it for several months now, I know that life is not going to go back to the way it was.

What has changed? What have we learned?

1. We are all interconnected. This is not a cliché. From the first recorded cases in Wuhan in December to cases recorded in nearly every country in the world, it was just a matter of weeks. We are that closely connected.

2. We are all responsible for each other’s well-being, whether we like it or not. This is a hard thing to wrap our heads around, and it may take some time to fully take it in. Our actions affect other people in ways that we do not even know.

God’s people of course have experienced far more difficult situations in the past, but we are going through a transition, and transitions of any kind are hard to take. They are hard because when we are in the midst of a transition, we don’t really know what is happening or how long it will last. It sometimes takes years for the reality to sink in, and for the implications to work themselves out.

As we prepare ourselves for the Christmas season, I am reminded that the coming of Christ into the world was also a hard transition. When we read the gospels, we can see that for the people in the midst of the situation, they did not fully realize at the time what was happening. It took years for people to figure it out. Even now, 2000 years later, we are still working out the implications.

What new awareness is COVID-19 awakening within us, even now, about the meaning of Christ’s incarnation in the world? How does the experience of a global pandemic change the way we see ourselves, the world, and our place in it? What new reality is God calling us into?


For further reflections on living in South Korea during the coronavirus pandemic, see my post on the United Church of Canada website: