. . . and antibacterial soap (purchased before everybody hoarded it) and antiseptic wipes. We were there for a family event (TBC got engaged!) and I’m happy to report that we don’t seem to have Covid 19.
We wiped down everything from the airplane tray tables to the hotel TV remote, We disinfected the seat belt buckles and the door knobs and the elevator buttons. We were those people.
[Note: we did not need our surgical gloves, but if anyone had needed surgery, we were ready.]
During the time we were away, Seattle Presbytery in the Presbyterian Church USA asked each of their 45 congregations to cancel worship for the sake of protecting the gathering parishioners. And Christ Church in Georgetown, DC asked each of their 500+ members to quarantine themselves after their Rector was diagnosed with the virus.
I’m reminded of the four Episcopal nuns in Memphis who refused to leave the city during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878. They stayed to care for the sick while most of the city left to avoid the illness. And each of them died.
How do we remain faithful in times like this?
As a church leader myself, I suggest two things:
- Love God with your mind as well as you heart, soul, and strength. Really, Jesus gives us permission (and the commandment) to do this. God invented both science and scientists and we are called to use the brains God gave us.
- Tempting God is frowned upon according to that time Satan tried it.
The Twitterverse reminds us that #SoapIsAmazing and all it takes is regular washing with soap. You can sing “Happy Birthday” or just count to 20 while washing up.
God blesses us with smart people who share what they know and – we hope – tell us what they do not yet know. And we are called to use our God-given brains. This is not a good time to introduce a Common Cup for communion. This is not a good time to encourage The Kiss of Peace every Sunday morning.
This is a good time to be compassionate and to pray for the sick, the caregivers, and those poor people in cruise ships.
This is a good time to pray for the scientists.
This is a good time to be patient with our decision-makers.
It’s not the first time there has been a pandemic such as this and it won’t be the last. But it’s another opportunity to show people what faithful living looks like.
Be safe out there. Wash your hands. You probably don’t need surgical gloves. You definitely don’t need to hoard the Purell.