“Remembering” the World God So Loves
During the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s easy to become self-absorbed looking out for myself and the people close to me! One moment I come up with ways to help my friend who has lost both of his jobs, but then spent a long time researching why I’m at risk because I have Type A blood! I just realized that I want people to wear masks because . . . they affect me! (I keep forgetting it’s about protecting them!)
But I remember that I’m a disciple of Jesus, which is all about loving God and loving my neighbor. About 500,000 people in this world that God loves and who were made in God’s image have suffered and died. Millions more who loved them are still suffering. I don’t want to be the self-obsessed guy in Jesus’ parables who plans to hoard his blessings in bigger barns instead of partnering with God is sharing the blessings that are all around me. What helps me is that at the beginning of our now online house church, the following prayer is read—no, prayed:
Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
“Remember” in the Old Testament sense was not a passive ho-hum thing. Remembering was a big deal that involved building and gazing at large stone memorials (Genesis 28:10-12; Joshua 4:1-8; 1 Samuel 7:12, for example). Remembering involved continual thoughts and vigorous actions (building a stone monument that couldn’t ever be ignored). For us it includes praying for people, of course, but also having empathy for them and doing things to help others—sharing resources, donating part of that stimulus check, giving blood, running errands. Many of you are doing these things. This is partnering with God in loving the world God so loves!
Grace and peace,