Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church

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Rector's Corner

On the Coronavirus, COVID-19

  • The Rev. Dr. Bill Murray
  • Mar 10, 2020
  • Blog Feed

The CDC and many health organizations have published information about how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and countless other diseases. I would refer you to their website www.cdc.gov The media reports information large and small, often without contextualizing or teaching what it might mean. The results have been fear, anxiety, worry, and dread.

The great problem with fear, anxiety, worry, and dread is how it impacts both the individual and the community. In moments like this, we need to be reminded of how Jesus handled disease and illness. We need to be reminded of our faith. We need to be recalled to our common humanity and reach for the tools that will sustain us during difficult times that have come before and will come again.

First of all, our faith teaches us that God is in charge. In best of times and the worst of times, God stands with us and sustains us. We can and should pray for the doctors and nurses and first responders dealing with medical challenges every day, for the safety of families and friends and all those we love, and for a cure for this and all disease. While our attention is on the coronavirus, we should be reminded how fragile life is and the need for healing for millions around the world suffering from a countless list of injuries and illnesses.

Second, we can see how Jesus responded. While the ancient world isolated those with uncurable illnesses like leprosy, Jesus deliberately chose to visit, care, touch, and heal them. The most common actions of Jesus when dealing with the sick are to touch them, lay hands on them, and embrace them. As a follower of Christ that means I have a clear obligation to make sure that those who are sick are never alone. Reaching out in compassion, hope, and love is the sacred calling of all who follow Jesus. When a friend has any illness, including coronavirus, we should call, send notes, and support family and friends. While we should do all we can to prevent the spread of disease, we have a deep calling to also make sure that the people involved know they are not alone, they are supported, and they are loved.

Finally, we are called to share this with a world reacting in fear, anxiety, worry, and dread. We need to be God’s voice of calm in the middle of the storm. We need to remind the world that God walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We need to share that there is comfort in knowing that neither the coronavirus nor death nor anything in this world can separate us from the love of God. We need to remind ourselves and others that Christians are called to love in the worst of times. We must walk through this and every challenge of life with a calling to be filled with faith, hope, and love.

In short, my friends, take care of yourselves, remember God is with you, and share your hope, compassion, and love with a world that needs it in full and healthy doses.