31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As of this writing there are over 100,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 1,600 deaths in the United States alone. Every state has confirmed at least 5 cases and new cases are being reported almost hourly. What then are we to do about these things? Are we to be separated? We love one another. We love one another enough to stay home and practice safe physical distancing from others – not out of fear, but out of love. We love one another by making phone calls and sending cards. We love one another by praying and crying out to God. There is much to lament as more stores close and more are unemployed. Health systems are taxed, worried, and overwhelmed. More events are being cancelled through May at this time. Our faith communities are physically separated. BUT Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Not physical distance, nor this disease itself.
New life is springing up around us in buds on the trees and spring flowers in bloom. Even the meteorologist tells us it is spring.
Although we may be physically separated from one another, we are all connected in Christ. We are the body of Christ, each with a part to play in the unfolding of this disease. What is your part?
- Connecting with others – phone calls, emails, texts, cards – what other ways might you imagine?
- Using gifts of technology to help others who are less comfortable
- Picking up groceries for those more vulnerable
- Sharing a roll (or more!) of toilet paper
- Staying home to “flatten the curve”
If you are one who has been affected by this virus, whether personally or by way of a loved one, or if you are one of our first responders or our medical community, know you are in our prayers.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).
Loving God, we cry out to you in isolation from others.
- Comfort us in knowing this physical separation from others cannot separate us from you.
- Heal those who are experiencing the effects of this disease.
- Reveal yourself to us today, reminding us of your presence through these difficult times with us.
- Increase our hopefulness as we wait for a time to be reunited with others
- Sustain those at the front lines and
- Teach us to love one another ever more fully.