March 27 – COVID-19: Life in the New Normal (Day 2)

Read Hebrews 10:19-25

I am a handful of days ahead of you on this “stay at home” order. My wife, Celeste, and I returned to the US from ministry in Europe one day before a mandatory “self-quarantine” for European returnees went into effect. Nevertheless, we chose to self-quarantine. By God’s grace, we are healthy and showing no symptoms of COVID-19.

I don’t pretend to have learned all of what God would have me to learn. Nor have I perfected the few things that have already become glaringly obvious. So, as a fellow “stay-at-homer,” I invite you to journey with me as I ponder biblical truths in the face of our current realities. I plan to summarize each day’s lesson with a single word.

  • (Explored that yesterday.)

Today’s word is “community.”

The realities of the virus are causing all of us to practice “social distancing” in the context of the stay at home order. There are limits on where we can go, the number of people we can be around, and how close we should be to them.

I am not calling any of that into question. I trust, respect, and pray for medical experts, and government leaders.

Still, if we allow it, we can move beyond social distancing towards isolation. In the days of creation, the divine commentary on aloneness was “NOT GOOD” (Gen. 2:18). Maybe your stay-at-home experience is beginning to demonstrate that to you. In the New Testament, the admonition is that we pursue and experience community. The author of Hebrews describes the purpose of community as being encouragement…cheering others on to hope and to helping others in love.

The stay at home order dare not lead to isolation. Don’t allow COVID-19 prevent you from experiencing COMMUNITY-2020.

Community may look different now. I have heard of neighbors gathering (albeit at a distance!) outside at a specific time each evening to update one another on needs, and one person actually prays. I have heard of people in an apartment complex sticking their heads out of their back windows at the same time to connect and update each other. Groups are connecting on all kinds of digital meeting platforms. As my wife and I take a daily walk, we have found an unprecedented readiness among others outside to engage in encouraging (and, sometimes, gospel) conversations.

Make a call. Send a text. Write an email. Connect on Facetime. Pursue community at a time that could lead to isolation!

Steve Kern

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