There is a difference between wisdom and fear. A difference between caution and panic. As followers of Jesus, when we are faced with difficult or even dangerous obstacles to community and relationships, we should look first to him. Jesus touched lepers. It was not only medically risky by the day’s standards but religiously taboo and considered ceremonially unclean. He did it not only to heal them but to show them compassion and love. Was Jesus foolish? No. So what can we learn that applies to this time of COVID-19?
First, Jesus didn’t withdraw in the face of danger and societal norms, so we shouldn’t either. I’m not a medical professional and I DO trust them – so we should be wise and listen to their advice, especially while we’re still learning. But there are many ways to safely stay “close” to the hurting, the needy, and our friends. It’s rooted in relationship. We should do whatever we can safely do to be in real relationship – and to reach out to our community and stay rooted. It’s vital.
Second, Jesus didn’t make decisions based on fear, so we shouldn’t either. Whether its economic, medical, political or other fears that bring us anxiety, we should not let them guide our decision-making. Some amount of fear is God-given and healthy – naturally built into us for survival. But when fear starts controlling our thoughts and stealing our joy, that’s not God. His perfect love casts out fear and we need not operate from a place of fear.
So this week, let’s explore ways we can stay connected. Who do you need to text today? Encourage? Pray for? How might you safely find real, honest relationship this week where you can share a few layers deeper than you have been?
We need each other. God designed us for community, just like the Father, Son and Spirit are in perpetual community. Let us not, for fear, forsake one another. Let us find hope, joy and peace in connecting this week.
Grace and Peace,