“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
We are living in perilous times: now more than ever, we must hold firmly to the ageless wisdom that our faith provides. Neither panic or denial serve us—they will only exacerbate the situation. Instead, it is our responsibility to both follow the guidance and direction coming from health professionals to ensure our health and safety, even while we continue to take care of one another and stay in community.
The very foundation of our Christian faith rests upon our commitment to love God and to love our neighbor. Because of this we must continue to speak out against racism and the stigmatization of our neighbors. Likewise, isolation can have devastating impacts on people, and it’s imperative that we practice hospitality and kindness in new and creative ways to ensure that everyone is cared for and protected. This might take the form of small video conference groups, online book groups or other discussion forums, or something else unique to your local context and/or faith traditions.
Please be in contact with us as this situation continues to unfold. No doubt there will be new and unforeseen circumstances that will demand our attention in the days and weeks ahead. But by staying in communication, not only can we share best practices and innovative solutions, we can brainstorm ways for all our communities to serve one another and remain in solidarity. Let’s never forget that we’re all in this together.
This crisis presents us with an opportunity to respond to despair with hope and to recommit ourselves to building the beloved community. May our faith strengthen our resolve to live with a spirit of love, not fear, as we encourage and take care of one another in these difficult days.
Jan Musgrove Elfers