Australia is the lucky country. It's a phrase we hear often enough.
However while most of us think of the term as a positive, it was coined as a negative.
In his 1964 book "The Lucky Country", Donald Horne claims;
"Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people's ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise."
As the book will go on to say, we are simply a land with great weather, lots of natural resources, and too geographically removed from troubles of the rest of the world to get caught up in them.
We are simply, lucky.
It may be that coronavirus has made us once more feel that we are the lucky country. As we have watched the carnage in places like the USA, Italy, Spain and Britain, Australia has seen the curve not simply flatten. We have seen it plunge downward!
Was this just luck? I don't think so. I think we have simply listened to the experts. Our leaders listened and set policies early enough that the infection rate didn't get out of control. Our communities have listened and for the most part done what the experts have told us would work. And it has worked!
Coronavirus has exposed the terror which death holds for us. After all, it was fear that we might end up experiencing the death toll of nations like Italy which made us sacrifice our usual freedoms and way of life.
Yet as a Christian minister I often see people unwilling listen to the expert when confronting the simple reality that all of us will ultimately die.
We don't listen to the one person has shown that he has an answer to death. Jesus Christ.
Throughout his time on earth, Jesus claimed to speak from God. He told us what God was like. He taught about God's purposes in creating us. He spoke of how we can have a relationship with God. He even promised that he could offer hope in the dace of death itself.
But so what?
Maybe he was just another misguided voice in a world where everyone has an opinion. But what sets Jesus apart was that when challenged on what he was teaching, he told his opponents that if they were to kill him, he would rise again to life. And then, he did it.
On Good Friday Jerusalem watched on as Jesus breathed his last. On Sunday his tomb was empty and Jesus was alive. He spent the following days talking with his friends, eating with them, walking with them. He promised that those who followed him would share in his victory over death and rise to an eternal life.
His followers were so convinced that Jesus was alive that that they wouldn't stop telling anyone who would listen about this man who could overcome death, even when it cost them their lives.
Coronavirus has shown the terror that death holds for us.
We rightly fear the grief of losing those we love.
We feel uncertainty about what might follow death.
We have been prepared to listen to the experts in hope of finding safety from the threat of death.
Why would we not be willing to listen to the one person who has shown such mastery of the subject of death that he could defeat it and rise again?
After all, it wasn't luck that saved our nation from the tragedies we are seeing elsewhere. It was the willingness to listen to the experts.
And no one will enjoy the life which Jesus promises by simply 'getting lucky'. We will only share his victory over death by listening to the expert.