The implication of the Raising of Lazarus from the Dead (John 11: 38-44) for Covid-19 Recovered Persons in Ghana
The world is dealing with the novel COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed many lives. Affected persons are quarantined and isolated from their families and some unfortunately die. Those who recover are discharged to reunite with their families and friends. However, in the Ghanaian context, the recovered often suffer stigmatization and are rejected by society and even by their families. This situation creates a pastoral challenge for Ghanaian Christian communities. Reading the gospel, we find many narratives of sickness and death. One of them is John 11:1-44. The text describes the condition of Lazarus and the helplessness experienced by his family during his sickness. Their hope to see their sick member recover was shattered when Lazarus died and was buried. However, the narrative changed from verse 44b when Lazarus was raised from the dead and reunited with his family. Against this background, the paper analyses the raising of Lazarus from the dead and the reaction of his family through an exegetical study of John 11:38-44 using narrative criticism. It further examines the attitude and behaviour of people towards COVID-19 recovered persons in Ghana. The paper argues that stigmatizing COVID-19 recovered persons can lead to psychological trauma and social alienation. The study concludes that just as Lazarus experienced the healing presence of Jesus and was received warmly by his family after his resuscitation, recovered persons of COVID-19 need the affection of family and community of faith to reintegrate into society.