Oh, how I wish I could be in the same building with you all, singing our favorite hymns, hugging at the peace, chatting over coffee. I miss every single one of my St. Mark’s family. Looks like it is could be quite a while before we are safe to do any of those things. So how do we do church in this strange new reality?
Our gospel lesson today is Jesus sending out his followers to preach the good news. He tells them to take almost nothing with them which always bothers me. What about a spare pair of shoes? A snack? A water bottle? Nope, none of it. Just go and trust in the Lord.
Here we are today, in our homes, isolated and quiet. We really must not go out into the world as Christ ordered his followers. To best do the work of loving our neighbors, we must stay away from our neighbors! That can be awfully hard to understand. Perhaps the best we can do is call one another. Reach out and see if others need help. Wear masks in public to protect ourselves and others. Be kind on social media. Some of us probably also need to try to be kinder to ourselves.
Make no mistake, although we have entered the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, this reality is the furthest from ‘Ordinary’ imaginable. Our country is angry and divided. We are overwhelmed by the enormity of a global pandemic that is killing 1000 people every day in our country alone. There is no cure or treatment for this virus. The only reason we are opening up is because there is enough room in hospitals to treat the sick.
So, we struggle on. We make the best of each day. We pray and pray and pray for the world. Like the first followers of Jesus, we must trust in the Lord and then do our best to share God’s message of love through our words and actions every day. Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.