Corona Sabbath 1 Reflection text

Corona Sabbath 1

Date: March 22, 2020
Scripture: Genesis 12:1-5a
Poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Pastor: Rev. Kim P. Wells

Well, in these corona days, we find that we are on a journey. And this COVID-19 is taking us on quite a trip! In the story we heard from Genesis, Abram is directed by God to journey to a new land, to start a new community, rooted in the justice and joy of God. While this journey is unexpected for the elderly Abram and Sarai and their family, it is a journey of promise. They are to be part of something big and important and new that God is doing. It is daunting but it is also exciting. COVID-19 feels nothing like that to me.

In the poem, we are also told of a journey. And almost arbitrarily, we are told of picking a path. The one less traveled. But that makes all the difference. In this poem, the writer choses the path and the way seems to be that of an adventure not a forced march or migration. And again, there is a sense of promise and possibility in the unknown.

As we face the unfolding of the corona virus pandemic, we find that we, too, are on a journey, but it is not of our own choosing. And we have little say about the route. We awake each day to new horrors in foreign lands and new restrictions in our own. We are not being called to this unforeseen path. It’s more like we are being hijacked or kidnapped. We have had no say-so in the direction or destination still very much unknown. It does not feel like we are adventuring into something new and promising. Given the tanking of the economy, this journey seems to be dominated by fear and dread.

But in times of peril and crisis there is opportunity. As followers of Jesus, our faith is rooted in serving others. In this crisis, we have the opportunity to reach out to others – not with our physical touch – but with our words, with images, and with prayers. There are people suffering the world over and next door and we can support them with our love and concern. The wonderful awful internet is the perfect tool for such a time as this. We can be in instant communication with the world – literally. We can video chat with those we cannot touch. When we are in the literal presence of others – in the doctor’s office, at the grocery store, with the cleaning person, the health aide, the delivery person, the housemates – we can offer support, gratitude, and encouragement.

We didn’t choose this journey. We didn’t select this path. And I don’t believe that there is a God creating this crisis. But we are needed to be people of compassion, love, and service in these times. For ourselves and for others. And, who knows, this experience may make us just a little more human and humane. Amen.

(Click HERE if you wish to see the post containing the video of this text.)

Author: Rev. Wells

Pastor of Lakewood United Church of Christ since 1991. Graduate of Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary of New York.

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