Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
We are starting our second week of mostly staying at home. Today, as I delivered groceries to a member in need, I started to think about how much we take for granted every day. A simple trip to the grocery was exciting! A member shared with me how excited her teen age daughter was to drive with her to the post office! Two weeks ago, this would have seemed more a chore than a privilege. The ability to go out to dinner or gather with friends. Or shop at a small business or mall. Just to be able to give a hug. The ability to go to the gym or golf. I suspect that most of us never gave any of these activities a second thought, they were just part of the fabric of our lives. And now, they are temporarily suspended.
Could you have imagined a month ago that we would see cancellations or postponements of every conceivable sporting event? It even appears that the Summer Olympics will get pushed back until next year. I am sure to varying degrees we all miss these events. This is the first time in my adult life that I can remember professional athletes being irrelevant in our day to day life. So much for hero worship for professional athletes. And how many things related to Hollywood are also being postponed? Suddenly, celebrities are irrelevant in our daily lives too.
In their place we are finding that the real heroes are the people that do everyday jobs and vocations. Truck drivers, grocery store workers, utility workers, and mechanics are working alongside police officers, fire fighters, nurses and doctors, paramedics and all the support people that work with them behind the scenes. And let’s not forget all the volunteers that are working around the clock to help keep vital services going and checking in with people.
I can’t help but think about Martin Luther when he commented about the importance of daily vocations. He said the purpose of vocation and good works is to love and serve our neighbors. For Luther even changing a diaper is a good and needed vocation.
I wonder, is a consequence of this time of physical separation a new centering for us? Can we now realign our values to place a higher emphasis on those who serve the greater good? Can we really appreciate the little things in life? Can the Christian Church be relevant once again in our society? Can we let God back in? So many questions and so many opportunities. May God bless us with the wisdom and energy to advance these values back into daily life.