The churches are closed, and services have been suspended, and for me to tell you something of the Gospel lesson you would normally be hearing is not necessary; except for the fact that it really is a salient lesson for the situation we are all in. It is the wonderful story of Jesus love for a good friend. A love so strong that he could not but call on God the Father to raise Lazarus from the dead. And God did, and Lazarus walked from the tomb.
Each of us have entered a tomb, in these past days, and taken upon ourselves a self-imposed exile. While we have done it specifically for ourselves, and our protection from the devastating virus. We have also done it for all those around us; so, they will not come in contact with the miniscule droplets that might cause them to suffer. Our staying secluded thus becomes an act of community love; a kindness not only for our benefit, but for those we would touch in ordinary circumstances.
Certainly I feel vulnerable and I am. I am one of the aged, the old, one of those on the list who would suffer and probably succumb, if I were brought into contact with the affliction. But I am also a man of faith, and I can not put that aside I believe God will protect me in all this. I believe I am in and maintain a loving relationship with my God. That comes from adherence to the New Commandment given to us by Jesus Christ: ‘Love God; and love your neighbor, as yourself.’
For me to think because of my faith, that I am impervious to the virus because of my faith would be wrong. My common sense tells me that I am not. But I also have to believe that in all of this, God has acted, and I see that God has. How else can you explain the sudden change that caused most of us to enter into a lengthy period of seclusion, with very little argument. It took some a bit longer than others to put their doubts aside, yet in a few days an entire nation took to staying inside.
Was it because of fear? To some extent, yes. Was it because it was the best thing to do? Yes, surely. But something out of the ordinary had to cajole an entire nation to enter into this self-impost captivity all at once. We are an argumentative bunch. Most of what we would discus finds 51% on one side and 49% on the other; with one or two percent wavering with indecision. But here, in this instance, we in a collective of millions were directed into a decision that will lessen the peril.
It is my belief, that we loving God now, know that God loves us; and that we loving our neighbors as ourselves, know that we are loved. It is the manifestation of Christ’s love for us. AMEN
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.