Pandemic shows how interconnected we all are

Pastor David Armstrong-Reiner

March 28, 2020

We are living in an unprecedented time, in a crisis that no one has ever experienced on such a massive scale.

As we all seek how to be with one another – or, more importantly, how NOT to be with one another – during this COVID-19 pandemic, we are not simply talking about how a city or a state responds. We are talking about how entire nations and the entire world ought to respond. There is not a single state throughout the United States that is not affected by COVID-19. There is not a single continent that is not affected by COVID-19. And I will not quote you the latest numbers, because they will increase by the time this is printed and increase further by the time you read this.

But as we seek to comprehend this crisis, I want us to consider this incredible, amazing fact:

COVID-19 is affecting everyone. COVID-19 knows no boundaries. COVID-19 knows no distinctions between genders or gender identities. COVID-19 knows no differences between nationalities, religions, or race. COVID-19 does not care if you are rich or poor, young or old, gay or straight, male or female, black or white, Democrat or Republican, American or Chinese or Italian or French.

In other words, COVID-19 shows how interconnected we all are.

Foundational to our way out of this crisis is to understand that truth: we are all interconnected. We are all bound together as one people and one world. The tragedy is that it took a pandemic to show us that interconnection.

What if we were to take that above paragraph about COVID-19 and substitute the words “God’s love”?

God’s love is affecting everyone. God’s love knows no boundaries. God’s love knows no distinctions between genders or gender identities. God’s love knows no differences between nationalities, religions or race. God’s love does not care if you are rich or poor, young or old, gay or straight, male or female, black or white, Democrat or Republican, American or Chinese or Italian or French.

In other words, God’s love shows how interconnected we all are.

When Paul spoke about the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, he could have just as well been speaking about all of us as children of God throughout the world: “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. … The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ … If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:14, 21, 26)

We need one another. We need to work together with all of our unique gifts to overcome this crisis.

We need to use our heads and listen to the guidance of our health professionals. Stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Practice physical and social distancing. Wash your hands.

We need to use our imagination to seek ways to remain connected with one another. Fight the temptation to isolate yourself. Call your friends and loved ones. Contact someone you know who is alone, especially those homebound or in nursing homes. If you can help drop off food or help someone in need, find the ways to do so.

We need to use our compassion. Do not seek out blame for this crisis. Blaming will get us nowhere. Seek instead to encourage one another, offer hope to one another. When we panic or are scared, be compassionate with yourself. Those feelings are natural and let you know that you are alive. But seek to not remain in fear or panic. Seek hope. Seek kindness. Seek love.

And when we get through this crisis – AND WE WILL – let us take this lesson of how connected we all are and live as the whole children of God, the whole community of God, that we were always intended to be.

 

The Rev. David Armstrong-Reiner is pastor at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 2375 Ga. Highway 20 in Conyers. Contact him at pastor.david@conyerselc.org.