April 21, 2020

We’ve been hearing these words, “We’re all in this together.”  Our connection to and interdependence with each other locally and globally has never felt more real. We are distancing ourselves and wearing masks. We’re washing our hands more and wiping down surfaces. We’re making masks and delivering meals and offering words of encouragement and hope.  When we listen to foreign correspondents they describe distancing measures, the situations in hospitals, the shortage of PPE, the devastation to economies, the jobless rate and we realize they could be describing the United States. We have the same virus in our midst and its impact is the same – profound and broad – wherever we are. All of humanity is united to fight this common enemy. We are forced to put our differences aside and our leaders are being asked to consider a global ceasefire.

Having these common experiences and a common goal – even a colossal one – doesn’t completely explain the sense of community I feel with those close to me and around the globe during this time of physical separation.  The words of Paul, in Ephesians, and those of Bill Hoff, on Easter helped me understand it better. This idea of unity of all people isn’t really news to Christians. For example, in Ephesians (Chapter 2) we’re reminded that in Christ there are no more divisions, we are no longer strangers and aliens, but rather fellow citizens with the saints and are of God’s household.  There is no dividing wall. Christ’s example is our cornerstone. The community he showed us with his life with the apostles is the foundation.  With the resurrection, Christ is transformed and he appears again and reminds the disciples (us) to gather, to tend his sheep, to take his message of love to everyone.  In Bill’s Easter sermon, he said, “The Resurrection vindicated Jesus in His way of radical inclusiveness, borderlessness, non-violence, and suffering love.  Now we are invited to hold on to each other. ‘That is where you will find me. That is where I am living,’ Jesus instructs.  Hold on to each other, in your uncertainty, in your vulnerability. Hold on to each other in your despair and in your diversity.”

We’re not alone. God is with us and we have each other. We’re all in this together.  This truth is at the core of what we believe. It’s our charge. It’s our hope.

Prayer: God of all, we thank you for living among us and for reminding us that we have you and we have each other to help us through all things.  You call us to community with you and all people. Give us hearts and eyes to see your love and hope where we are. Help us to hold on to each other. Give us hearts and eyes to see and respond to those around us and boldly claim the fullness of life in You.

Written by Kathy Para

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