March 4, 2020
Daylight Wasting (I mean Savings) Time is this weekend.
Yesterday was Super Tuesday, which turned out to be a little more like Confusing Tuesday. The old man who gets angry and yells at everyone won in the west. The not quite as old man who smiles, yells at Trump and kisses babies won in the south. The rather old man, who doesn't yell, doesn't really smile, and doesn't kiss babies, but spent about $600 million promoting himself, won next to nothing. It is enough to keep pundits and prognosticators scratching their heads, looking into their crystal balls, and trying to act like they know how this is going to play out.
Politics has a lot to do with momentum. There seems to be momentum with Biden and Bernie but not with Bloomberg. The Biden and Bernie parades are fueled by personal appearances and rallies, while the media overload of Bloomberg has resulted in very little results. So, what happens if this Coronavirus thing results in people being told to stay away from rallies, concerts, basketball games, school plays, the Olympics, and church? What would that mean for weddings, funerals, family reunions, conferences, and seminars? What would the March Madness tournament be like without the mascots, the bands, the signs, and the crazed college students? Concerts aren't concerts without an audience. Livestream a wedding? What then? Eat some virtual mostaccioli and a cupcake?
What kind of life would it be to live disconnected from others? Could you really call it life? Sociologists and psychologists are currently looking at the effects of loneliness and isolation. The results are, as you would expect, sad. In the Old Testament, lepers lived outside of the camp or the city. They were quarantined and required to inform others that they were unclean, but even the isolated couldn't live in isolation. The lepers found one another and formed colonies. These leper colonies were communities of the dying and, without any known cure for leprosy, it was all that these people had.
Some of my favorite stories of Jesus have to do with him healing lepers because SO much changed for them. They went from a community of death to one of life. They went from the outside to the inside. They went from isolation to inclusion.
We were made for community. Take it away, and life will be very different, but not in a good way. Apart from Christ, even our best communities are communities of the dying. Christ came to save us, not only from sin, but from what sin does to us. Sin separates us from God and from true community. Christ saves us from sin and from isolation. As Peter says, "Once you were not a people, but NOW you are God's people" (1 Peter 2:10). Being God's people means that we have a community who knows us, loves us, and encourages us and a community that we know, love, and encourage. Our community of believers is not perfect, but it is a taste of what an incredible joy eternity will be like that no coronavirus can ever threaten.
Grace and peace,