It’s everywhere. Every post, publication and podcast: Coronavirus. A Google search at 1:00 p.m. on March 10th elicited 6,210,000,000 results. At 1:20 it was 6,570,000,000. It’s sent the market into a frenzy and the travel industry into freefall. We’re stockpiling hand sanitizer, bleach and toilet paper. So many questions arise: Will schools close? Will those we love get sick? Will church be cancelled on Sunday?
I can answer the last one: If it’s Sunday, St. Tim’s will be open. I’ll be here and we’ll celebrate the resurrection with whomever feels comfortable showing up. I’m afraid the rest is a mystery.
It’s into this anxious space that Jesus speaks in bold, confrontational terms. On Sunday, we’ll hear the parable in Mark 12:1-12 that prompted the religious leaders to seek Jesus’ arrest. It’s meant to shake us up, to move us, to provoke us to ask uncomfortable questions about how we choose to live our lives. In all honesty, it startled me to read it not because I was so shaken by what the parable said, but by just how slight my reaction was.
The Coronavirus has me changing my behaviors. I wash my hands more, try with all of my might not to touch my face, and ask those I know well if it’s alright to shake their hand in greeting. BUT, how much will Jesus’ convicting words change my behavior? Will I be more aware of the words I choose to speak, the care I take with loved ones and strangers, the commitment I have to following Jesus and his call to servant, self-giving love? Will it move me to ask for forgiveness and renew my conviction to love God with everything I’ve got and love my neighbor, too?
What about you?
See you Sunday…