I have been using a phrase recently that I plan to put on merchandise to sell in order to fund my children’s education (or at least buy a book). It might be a shirt, or a coffee mug, or a face mask, and all it will read:
“I’m sorry! It’s my first pandemic.”
Let’s all admit that none of us knows precisely what to do, what to say, or how to act in any number of situations right now. We are not clear on what the right solution is or even IF there is one right solution. As with any new reality, we are feeling and fumbling our way through. Sure, there will always be those who seem confident or who appear to have all the explanations. But I can confidently say, from world leaders to Sunday school teachers, that we are all moving forward as we watch the sidewalk appear, one step at a time, and making the best decisions we can with what we are given.
When I read about the early church, after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, I see a group of people who are grappling with their new reality and figuring out what it all means, and where it is all heading. It was their first resurrection, and everything needed to be rethought or reexamined in light of the empty tomb.
In the present time, we are also on a path of reimagining and reexamining who we are, as the people of God and as the church in the world. This presents a life-shaping opportunity to practice the commands of love found in I Corinthians 13. Now is the time to daily plant the seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, so the Spirit can produce these fruits in our life, and we can bring life to those we encounter who are afraid, anxious, uncertain, and struggling to find hope.
We move through our day with grace, both for ourselves and for one another. It is because of the first resurrection that we can walk through our first pandemic with our neighbors as the visible manifestation of Christ.