March 29, 2020, Fifth Sunday of Lent


Every now and then an event happens that is so earth shaking that everybody remembers exactly where they were when it happened. For those of you who are old enough, the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963 was one of them. Another one was the terrorism attack on the Twin Towers in New York City on 9-11-2001. A third one might well be Lent of 2020. The coronavirus.


Just a few months ago we enjoyed the joyous feast of Christmas. Just a few weeks ago we came to this Church and heard the words, “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return” on Ash Wednesday. Little did we know how true these words would ring before Holy Week even begins and our churches are empty and Holy Week Services all but cancelled?


People are out of work, businesses are shut down, school buildings are closed on all levels, very few are out of their homes, and the list could go on, all because of the coronavirus.


The result: people are sick, scared, lonely, and very lonely. Such pandemics have happened before and will happen again. Remember the Hong Kong Flu of 1968, the Asian Flu of 1956, the flu Pandemic of 1918. How about the Black Death also known as the Bubonic plague?


Our Christian response to all of this must be one of Hope. We all know that Jesus did come and save the world. Not in the snap of a finger, but he gave us the blueprint. Perhaps the good that will come from the coronavirus is the wake-up call to all of us that we do need God and we do need one another.


While we are sitting at home looking for something to do I can offer two suggestions: First get that Bible off the shelf and begin reading. I suggest starting with the gospel of Luke, and then moving on to the Epistles. Second, call (not text, when people are lonely it is good to hear a voice) a relative or a friend that you have not heard from for a while. You can say something like: “I was just thinking of you and thought I would call and see how you were doing.”


In conclusion, the truth is we do need God and we do need one another. Perhaps this coronavirus will force us to slow down, to stop acting so independent, and reconnect us all around us.


Sunday Readings

Ezekiel 37:12–14

You shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and make you come up out of them, my people!

Romans 8:8–11

The one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you.


John 11:1–45 or John 11:3–7, 17, 20–27, 33b–45

Jesus told [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.”