Lection Connection

May 9, 2021: The Joy of Love

From Fraser Macnaughton

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten to engulf India, reports are coming through that people are hoarding oxygen and vital medicines in homes, creating panic and causing shortages in hospitals that treat critically ill COVID patients. India continues to have record numbers of new cases on a daily basis, as well as set new records for day-to-day fatalities. At the end of April, the country recorded a cumulative 89% increase in COVID deaths compared with the previous seven days. Amidst increasing panic, people who don’t need to be treated with oxygen are holding it in private homes, reducing its availability for critical patients. In the capital New Delhi, more than 20 patients died at one private hospital after oxygen supplies ran low. Shortages have pushed the government to run special trains to send oxygen to the worst-hit cities and some hospitals have been forced to turn away patients. Shortages are so severe that some states deployed armed police to guard supplies, following reports of theft by desperate families.

 

While earlier in the year India’s infection rate seemed to have been brought under control, it is perhaps with hindsight easy to see that the government lifted restrictions too early and allowed events such as cricket matches, election rallies, and religious festivals to take place, all of which led to large gatherings of people in close proximity.

 

Now, as an example of practice how to love God by loving one another (albeit on a somewhat macro level), the European Union, the United State,s and Britain have announced emergency measures to aid India. The European Union has mobilized its Emergency Response Coordination Centre to provide oxygen and medicine to India. Emergency medical supplies are being airlifted in. The U.S. promised to “rapidly deploy” support to India’s healthcare system, while the UK started sending hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators following a request.

 

President Joe Biden said the U.S. was “determined to help India in its time of need,” immediately making available supplies of vaccine-production material, therapeutics, tests, ventilators and protective equipment. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the EU was “alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India” and was “pooling resources” in support.

 

While some may scoff at these political decisions, it nevertheless shows love in action and a response to the call to love. 

 

EXPLORE

  • What are your views on equitable access and distribution of the various COVID vaccines now available, but not to everyone? What is the most loving course of action?
  • What ways can your faith community influence local and national governments to do more to love to their neighbours.
  • Jesus’ injunction to “love one another” is severely tested in a time of pandemic. How does your faith community “love the other” by example, and exhort others to do the same.

 

Prayer…

Often it is so difficult to imagine loving others especially if we do not know them or they live on the other side of the world. May we learn to broaden our horizons of love and deepen our knowledge of others that we might love them more effectively. Amen

 

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