Grace, peace and mercy to you from God our Father, and the Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
It was just a week ago.
Just one week.
It seems like ages now. One week ago, I got up and got ready for work. Chapel time with the Preschool kids, a morning Bible Study with the Women’s group, and then some time off. The plan was to go to Indianapolis with a couple friends to watch basketball. We bought tickets for the Big Ten Championship games. I had laid out my University of Michigan sweatshirts and hats and was ready to go.
But the news.
It was coming fast and furious.
By the time it was time to go, I couldn’t bring myself to go. As much as I wanted to go, I realized that it wasn’t just about me. It was, and IS, about those around me.
I canceled. I told my friends I couldn’t bring myself to go.
Later that night, the announcement was made that no fans would be permitted to the games. By the next morning, all the games were canceled.
This is one of my stories. We all have them.
There is inconvenience and disruption. But there is a reason. And that reason is it's not just about you and me, but it's about the people that make up our circles – our families, our church community, our neighbors.
What we are called to do is live out Jesus’ command. A new commandment. It can be summarized in one word.
Love. And the love Jesus commands of us is one that puts the other first. What is best for my neighbor?
Isn’t that what we are called to do? Isn’t that why we are doing what we are right now? Stay away from others if you are sick. Wash your hands. Look out for those around you who might need help. Don’t hoard the toilet paper!
Right before sharing this commandment, Jesus showed the disciples what he meant. He tied a towel around his waist, got out the wash basin, got down on his hands and knees, and washed his disciples’ feet. A king who washes feet.
While we should probably avoid contact like that for the time being, we can still love. Call your neighbor. Check in on the elderly. Offer help where you can. Pray for each other, and let others know you are praying for them.
And care for yourself as well. You are the one God loves. In response, love!
Love one another.
It has been one week. There are going to be many more.
Let us pray:
Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.