June 26, 2020 - COVID-19

When I woke up this morning I thought back to the first time I heard and had an understanding of Covid-19. It was in early March, 2020 that the world was turned upside down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Since that formidable day, life has changed drastically and if the truth be told, life will never be the same again. How we interact with one another and how we live as community has impacted us negatively. The pandemic has caused us to see America as a country in crisis. We have become a nation wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing our hands more. Covid-19 is not only affecting America, but the entire world. Covid-19 came upon us like a plague or some sort of mysterious phenomenon that snatched lives by the thousands per day.

Covid-19 has in some instances brought the best out of us and in some cases the worst out of us. As a nation, we have seen our national leadership at its worst and in some local governments we have seen leadership at its best. One of the characteristics of a good leader is to be able to make sound and effective decisions.  We would hope that those decisions would be in the best interest of the people the leaders serve. We have been sequestered to wearing masks, washing hands and keeping our distances from one another. Let us remember that adhering to all three could save our lives.     

We know that hand washing with soap and water is a key safety measure that helps protect us. We are blessed to have water and soap to wash our hands, but so many other nations have children who are not so privileged to have water and soap available to them.

We are able to continue some sort of communication with each other because of technology, but just imagine the number of people who do not have access to the latest communication tools or the internet. No doubt children who are deprived will most likely get left behind. Again, we have seen the best in some instances and the worst in others. Thanks Grace UMC for your contributions to Haiti, a nation who was desperately in need of water and you stepped up to the plate to contribute to the cause. What good is soap if you do not have water to drink or wash your hands?

As deadly as Covid-19 is, it has changed the lives of all of us. The way we travel and carry out our daily functions are quite different. Our homes have become our sanctuaries in more ways than one. It is reported that gun sales are up. I had to ask myself the question, "Do we believe that we can shoot and kill the virus?'  This is a part of the worst coming out of us. We see the best in people who have put their lives on the line to save us.

The question today is this, "How has the season of the pandemic brought out the best and worst in you? Are there behaviors you have developed that causes you to look in the mirror and ask the question, "Who am I?" Or, have there been times you have looked in the mirror and said, "I am so proud of myself for all the good I have done." I ask you today, has the pandemic caused you to be a better person? Are you more loving and trustworthy? Have you forged new relationships even behind a mask? Have you done anything that makes you ashamed of yourself? From a religious perspective, the good is the fact that people who would never enter the doors of a church building are now viewing worship services virtually. Social injustices are being addressed with boldness and power like never before.

Covid-19 can be described as the good, the bad and the ugly. Do we see all three in ourselves? Do they cause us to want to change our lives? Will we be true to ourselves?

1 Corinthians 6:11: "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

Isaiah 43:19: "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

Yes, I believe God is doing a new thing even during the pandemic.

Not a sermon, just a thought!

Robert Earl Slade, Pastor