“Do not be afraid!”
– Just about every time Jesus talked to his disciples.

The Corona Virus has certainly revealed a number of things about our world these days. It has shown us how interconnected our global community is to the extent a virus that appears in one part of the world can travel to all parts of the world. It has exposed the social and economic inequalities that exist from those who do not have healthcare to those who cannot afford to take time off to be self-quarantined. And it has laid bare the truth that when a crisis comes, the first thing people worry about is toilet paper!

I am struck how the Corona Virus reveals how much we need each other. In this time of social distancing, school closings, and sports events canceling, we struggle with the disruption in our everyday lives. Yet what is most unsettling is the feeling of isolation from each other when we cannot come together in our normal everyday life activities. Human beings need community especially in times of crisis. That is ever so true these days as we face the uncertainty of the coming weeks and months.

Our call at Heartland is to connect to God, to connect to each other, and to connect to the “Other.” Our challenge is to reach out to our neighbors, especially the more vulnerable, to make sure they have what they need to get through the coming weeks. Reach out to an elderly person to see if they could use something from the grocery store. Invite a friend over to enjoy a meal or a night together. Be proactive in affirming this truth – we will get through this together!

Every Sunday in our worship we affirm this connection to God, to each other, to the “Other.” If you are unable to attend worship because of sickness or feeling vulnerable, you are still connected to the community through prayer and song and liturgy. (And you can still participate online through our Facebook Live link!) Even though we are limiting our physical touching in an abundance of caution, we should know that our hearts can still touch each other. We are the body of Christ whether we are in the same building or not!

And if anyone needs some toilet paper, I have some extra rolls laying around here. Just let me know!

Grace and Peace,