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The Coronavirus Diaries: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

The Coronavirus Diaries: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Wednesday January 20 2021

The Rev Daniel Joaquim of the Evangelical Church of Christ in Mozambique, explains how Christians are responding to families struggling for their daily bread.

On March 22 2020, Mozambique confirmed the first coronavirus positive person.

While the cases were increasing around the world, some people in our country would not believe in the seriousness of the issue. A few days later, more new cases tested positive, but the scepticism remained among citizens.

On 30 March, just a week later, the President declared a State of Emergency applying a series of measures, which reduced a number of rights of citizens. For instance, Churches, Mosques, Synagogues and schools were closed and very limited access given to public services.

With no meetings, no public worship services, wearing facemasks every day, going out of home with limited freedom, no visits to relatives, Covid–19 brought a new normal for the life of all of us. Relationships within friends, neighbours, colleagues all have transformed into the logic of the new normal for our life. The dynamic of ordinary life has changed.

With the new normal life, the scepticism of some citizens began, slowly and gradually, to fade; with the first deaths due to the global pandemic, people become more conscious and sensitised to the existence and seriousness of the illness.

Among several effects, Covid-19 exposed the abyss of social inequalities within the communities. The expression #stay at home# made life itself more challenging than before, especially, for people for whom their daily bread is only made possible by informal business activities. Staying at home, that is right! However, living according to daily business activities, the question is: how to feed ourselves and our entire family? How to get sanitisers and other hygiene items? People asked the questions with uncertainty and fear about their future. These unanswered questions remain in the hearts and heads of many families while they are struggling for their daily bread.

In times of Covid–19, giving of our daily bread, as Christians say in the Lord’s Prayer, becomes a starting point of a reflection and action for any follower of Christ. The new normal of life is the place and time where this reflection and action must happen. It is a kind of “seed” of hope rebirthing from the earth and reopening in front of every human being “doors and windows” to envision a transformed future. Give us our daily bread becomes both request to God and an invitation for Christians to act creatively. This is a specific calling, in which seeds of hope ought to be manifest through:

In this time, the Christian faith compels all followers of Christ to look up (prayer) and look around (act in the context for the sake of lives).

The Rev Daniel Joaquim is Director of the Theological Education Department - Nampula Synod, IECM (Evangelical Church of Christ in Mozambique).

The Coronavirus Diaries: reflections from Church of Scotland partners around the world

A Spaniard in Scotland: The Power of Movement
South Sudan: Being Positive
A Nigerian in Scotland: God is in Charge
Trinidad and Tobago: New Frontiers
Czech Republic: A Challenge for Everybody
Switzerland: An Outpouring of Solidarity and Creativity
The West Bank: A Landscape of Broken Dreams
Nepal: So Many Premature Goodbyes
Malawi: We Must Hold Each Other Close
Nigeria: A Fresh Spiritual Connectedness
Egypt: 'This Is A Time To Witness God'
Guyana: The Strength of our Connectedness
South Korea: A Harsh Reality
Zimbabwe: Convenience or a Wake-up Call?
Sri Lanka: Service is the Highest Form of Worship
USA: Testing Positive
Portugal: The Mission of the Church Has Not Changed
World Council of Churches: A New Dawn is Upon us
Hungary: Physically Distant but Close in Spirit
A German in Scotland: Something New Has Already Begun
Myanmar: We Will Overcome this Hardship
Ghana: This Too Shall Pass
Brazil: The Least We Can Do
Kenya: Caring for One Another in Christ
An Indian in Germany: A Time of Enrichment
Argentina: Time in Between
Malawi: 'My identity in Christ remains unchanged'
Jerusalem: Being Rather than Doing
Malawi: No Lockdown and an Election
Zambia: 'I will never leave you... or forsake you'
Czech Republic: The Covid Cover-up
Zambia: 'All Life is Sacred'
Israel/Palestine: 'The Air is Clear'
Nepal: 'Please Pray for Us'
Malawi: Tough Dilemmas
Italy: 'Together, We Will Get Through It'