As of this week, 1 million people have died in the United States from COVID-19. After the 10:30 service on Sunday, we will ring the church bell twelve times.  Once for each hundred thousand people and two extra times for the two members of Peace who died from COVID-19.

All week I’ve been going through news articles from the early days of the pandemic.  It’s chilling to read the early predictions. Twenty-six months have passed, and not only are people still dying, but countless people are suffering from mental illnesses, economic distress, social inequalities, vocational crises, ongoing isolation, and grief.

What does our faith have to say about all this?

In our gospel lesson this week, the disciples are in a moment of profound disorientation. Jesus is preparing them for life after his death. For the rest of their lives, they would never be the same.  In that moment, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment: to love one another as he loved them. Love would be the key to unlock their future.  The command to love is deceptively simple and yet as Jesus promised his disciples so too he promises us.  In every instance, in every circumstance, we can rely on God’s love to lead us through.

Often God’s love shows up in a person. If someone has reflected Jesus’ love to you during the pandemic, I encourage you to reach out and thank them today!

Finally, every time I go to the grocery store I am stunned at the price of food.  The ACCA food bank needs supplies.  If you are someone who can buy extra, please see their greatest needs and bring donations to church.  If you need help, please reach out to me to see how the church can support you.  Times are tough and yet, in God’s kingdom, there is always plenty.

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