The Word on the Week

H1N1 Swine Flu

Give something a bad name and it sticks! The more benign medical term H1N1 has been superseded by the user friendly but more sinister “swine”. It is as if the characteristics of the pig go along with the sneezes! The one who sneezes, without using a tissue and, as the HSE campaign shows in a lift full of people, has merited the name! Flu’s come and flu’s go but health is always a major topic. Our very salutation “How are you today” is a friendly way of expressing our interest. The phrase “Bless you” related to more ominous times when a sneeze often heralded the onslaught of the “Black death”. The articulating of the blessing was intended to enlist the protection of the Almighty. Indeed the Bible recounts the tragic story of King Asa who, when he took ill, did not seek the Lord but relied solely on his physicians. The fact of illness as a present reality in a fallen world is acknowledged in Scripture just as there is healing in Christ’s atonement. As Matthew, quoting Isaiah put it in Chapter 8 verses 16/17, “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” The perfect health that Christ’s healing ministry points to will be the condition of the believers’ resurrected body. At present God is pleased to graciously grant, from time to time, a foretaste of the complete healing that awaits his people in the glory. These blessings come from answered prayer and themselves point to the complete healing, both spiritual and physical , that St Peter spoke about, in 1 Peter Chapter 2 verse 24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” The wonderful message for those who place their faith in the work of Christ on the cross on their behalf is that H1N1 or any other ailment is temporary, may be cured here and now but certainly will be in the hereafter. For those who have not yet committed themselves to Christ, may I commend that you turn to him and commit your life, health and future to him in prayer. He will answer and the promises in his Word will be fulfilled.