Since mid-March, four incredibly long months ago, everything is different.
More people are working from home. More people are out of work. More people are seeking public assistance. All students are out of buildings. Most classes are online. Masks are worn in public. Worship is conducted out of buildings and online or, if possible, outside. Jobs have been lost. Businesses have shut down. Long hair is back, but not by choice. Spectator sports have shut down. Sports leagues can’t figure out how to play safely and without spectators. Zoom is a household word and service.
Questions abound: What is safe? Who’s in your circle? How can we meet safely? How can we meet people’s needs? How do we make technology work in ways we never thought we’d need it? Where’d you find the toilet paper?
The day to day landscape is different.
But nothing has changed.
People are afraid. People are angry. People are tired. People are divided. People are in conflict. People are poor. People are treated with inequity. People are sick. People are dying. People have questions and the questions haven’t really changed.
More importantly, the answers haven’t changed.
How do I live (in the midst of a pandemic)?
Be just. Give fair play to everyone. Love mercy. Be compassionate. Suffer with people. Forgive. Walk in humility. Acknowledge you are not God. Acknowledge God and follow him.
How do I treat people?
Love them as you love yourself. Be patient, be kind. Don’t be rude, don’t boast, don’t act like you’re better than everyone else. Don’t dishonor people. Don’t be self-seeking. Don’t be easily angered. Don’t keep a record of offenses. Don’t delight in evil. Rejoice in Truth!
Protect. Trust. Hope. Persevere.
How do I treat people I disagree with?
Show them kindness. Listen to them. Pray for them. Don’t call them names. Don’t lie about them. Don’t curse them. If they are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
Everything is different. But nothing has changed.
Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
And we all need Jesus.