If you’re anything like me, you’re ready for this COVID-19 stuff to be over. It has definitely worn out its welcome! But for some reason, the virus just doesn’t seem to respect my feelings.
Instead, we continue to experience the troubles, difficulties, hard decisions, financial stress, loneliness, sickness, and death that are all a part of this pandemic.
So what do we do now? For those of us who are trying to follow Jesus, what does it mean to continue following Jesus during this seemingly never-ending dumpster-fire of a year?
Let’s remember to look to Jesus.
One time in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is asked to narrow everything down in the Bible—the whole meaning and purpose of life—to just one thing. And Jesus says, We are to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. And we are to love our neighbor as ourself. Everything in the Bible comes down to this. Everything God asks of us comes down to this. This is what we were made for: loving God and loving our neighbor, even in a pandemic!
What does loving God look like during this time? Well, if you love someone, you spend time with them. So let’s spend time with God. We can do this through prayer—both the kind where we talk and the kind where we listen in silence. We can do this through reading our Bibles—so that we can better understand what it means to follow Jesus.
And part of loving God will mean loving our neighbors. How do we love our neighbors? Maybe loving our neighbors will mean checking in on them. Give them a call. Maybe you have something that you can share with them? This is a great way to love God—by putting into action our love of neighbor. Or maybe what they really need is just someone to talk to or pray with them over the phone. This can be a lonely time. Let’s remind our neighbors that they are loved and cared for
One way that our churches throughout the Beatrice community have been working to love our neighbors is by meeting their material needs. Our Food Pantry in town had to close down due to an exposure to the virus. Where will people get their much needed aid and food?
So community organizations, churches, and all kinds of people all banded together. We set up a temporary food pantry at the YMCA. We asked people to bring food and give money, and the donations from our community were profoundly generous! In a difficult time when there are so many disagreements and reasons to separate and do our own thing, we saw our community come together to love our neighbors.
Friends, how will you love God during this time? How will you love your neighbors during this time?
May you use this time as an opportunity to spread the love of Christ through your words and through your actions, so that we might see God’s Kingdom Come and God’s will be done here in our lives—here in our Beatrice community—as we continue to grow in our faith and follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
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