1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. (NRSV)
One of the great sadnesses that I have noticed about this prolonged pandemic has been the lack of love that is constantly missing when people argue about their personal choices. It’s far easier to berate and ridicule our opponents, just like those who mocked Christ on the Cross, rather than have a healthy conversation to exchange fruitful ideas which may get us nearer to solving and ending this crisis. Perhaps if we as Christians were to apply Paul’s teaching about love not insisting on its own way, we might be able to combine our focus and strength to get us out of this pandemic pit. Sadly, however, if we keep attacking one another, we’ll be continually divided and eventually conquered by a coronavirus which doesn’t care about our personal freedom, faith, or notions.
I believe that this is one of the moments in history when the Church could make a substantial and crucial difference by showing love and helping folks to care for one another. If we become consumed by our internal divisions, then we’ll be guilty of burying the talents of faith, hope, and love which Christ has given to us. If we pander only to those who are like-minded, then we’ll be ignoring the empathetic compassion that Jesus urged His disciples to display when He told us to love one another. This is not an individual option either; it’s a personal command from Christ.
So, let’s all step back from the lines in the sand that we have drawn by honestly reflecting on Christ’s love and what it means to be a Christian. Let’s take time to reconsider what our faith is, and to whom we can effectively and lovingly share it. The world is broken right now – Christ’s Church can do much to repair it.
Prayer: Lord God, You know us fully and Your Son expects much of us. Challenge our ways and misconceptions. Fill us with love, instead of pride; grant us compassion and teach us to be humble. Heal us of all that would harm us and help us to be whole. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.