Lection Connection

November 29, 2020: Reshape, Reclaim, Remember

From Sandra Rooney

 

The coronavirus pandemic has caused us to reshape our lives in myriad ways over the past many months. It continues to dominate the news globally as the numbers of those testing positive, those hospitalized, and those dying continue to rise across countries around the world. There are implications both for how we live our lives now and in the future.

 

A recent New York Times headline read, “With 11 million Cases in the U.S., the Coronavirus Has Gotten Personal for Most People.” As Covid-19 cases surge across the country, most Americans know someone who has been infected, and estimates are that a third of the population knows someone – a relative, a neighbour, or a friend of a friend – who has died from the virus. But that experience is affecting behavior in different ways. Some are taking the virus more seriously, taking extra precautions and applauding the government’s efforts to contain the virus. However, as Nicholas A. Christakis, a Yale sociologist says in his new book, Apollo’s Arrow, “the effect of knowing people who survived it [the virus] may lead people to misread Covid as not being as bad as it is.”

 

On the one hand there are people like April Polk, a young woman in Memphis, who is urging young people to follow restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, since her 24-year old sister died this summer. She says, “I was one of the ones that didn’t take it seriously, and it took for me to lose my little sister to realize how real this virus is. Every day we’re suffering, and we have to be reminded of what happened and how it happened to her.”

 

But then there are those like 77-year-old Dennis Rohr, who has not changed his opinion that the disease is relatively benign even though an acquaintance died from Covid-19 a few days after sitting beside him at a dinner table and members of his own family have been infected. He contends that “fear and hysteria have created more problems than the virus itself.” Mr. Rohr is a city commissioner in Mandan, N.C., the state with the highest rate of known cases in the country, as of November 16.

 

Not surprisingly, research shows that for the millions who have lost a close family member there are lingering and troubling emotional and financial effects for children, widows, and parents. Research has also shown that the lessons people draw from their social networks, including the church and their faith, can be more powerful than what they see on the news or receive from governmental or educational institutions.

 

Explore…Isaiah 64:1–9

  • As you read this passage from Isaiah, how did it speak to you today?
  • How has your life been reshaped by the corona virus?
  • How do you see the pandemic reshaping the wider community?
  • How are your social networks shaping your response to the pandemic?
  • What role do you see your faith community playing in response to the virus?
  • What do you want to remember especially during this Advent season?

 

Prayer…

In the midst of grief and loss, we pray for a sense of your presence with us. As we adapt to changes that may mean separation from family and loved ones, may we learn to live in the moment as small joys come our way. In the experience of living in new ways, may we also experience a new depth of believing, and be empowered to be your people in the world in new ways. Amen.

 

Read more…

With 11 million cases in the U.S., the coronavirus has gotten personal for most people 

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