Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

May 24, 2020: Community of Prayer

From Sandra Rooney

All forms of media are telling the stories of those affected by the coronavirus, from health care workers to gig workers, from those who have lost their jobs and those who carry on essential services. A New York Times op-ed May 6, highlights some of the issues.

March 27: When Sujatha Gidla heard that a co-worker with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) had died from Covid-19, he thought, “It’s starting.” More deaths followed in quick succession. The MTA quickly became the epicenter of the city’s virus, with a mortality rate substantially higher than that of first responders. The reasons are easy to understand – close contact with passengers, ventilation limitations, lack of facilities for regular hand washing, absence of protective gear.

Gidla soon become ill, was hospitalized briefly and discharged. He stayed isolated for 14 days, then felt better. A coworker told him about a place where he could get tested. On April 15, testing positive meant further quarantine. His direct-deposit statement showed $692, less than half his wages for the first pay period and nothing after that. On April 30 Gidla tested negative and went back to work.

Since March 27, at least 98 New York transit workers have died of Covid-19, and these figures don’t reflect more recent deaths. Think about all those services we consider essential to meet our needs. There are grocery stores and their whole supply line, especially meatpacking plants, and truckers. Think of factories producing protective supplies, delivery workers, sanitation workers. The list goes on and on. As Gidla’s coworkers say, “We’re not essential, we’re sacrificial.” When some have said “We’re all in the same boat,” others respond, “No, not the same boat, the same storm.”
Explore…John 17:1–11

  • What do you think Jesus meant when he prayed with his disciples, “that they may be one”?
  • What might that prayer mean for us, his followers, today?
  • In what ways are we not “all in this together”?
  • What questions do we need to ask ourselves as we figure out how we move forward after this experience with COVID-19?

Eternal Spirit, yesterday is gone and the future is unknown, more unknown than ever before. Live in us. Help us to see how we are connected with all of life. May we see beyond our differences of race or clan, lives or livelihoods, our privileges or deprivations. May we know that in your eyes we are one, and may we value one another as members of the whole human family. Amen.

Read more…
We are not essential. We are sacrificial.
Are we all in this together?


Send a question or note
[email protected]

Contact the Publisher