On Monday, 23 March, the Ontario Government released a list of essential services that can remain open during the recent closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We often say things like, “I going to the store to pick up some essentials. Coffee, milk, bread.”
- Our to-do lists are filled with essential items.
- Now we hear, “all nonessential travel is to be postponed.”
- People are out of work because workplaces are closed: Nonessential.
- Kenny Rogers died last week. He sang “know when to hold ‘em (essential) and when to fold ‘em (nonessential).”
I was talking with someone, on the phone of course, and they remarked, “Maybe we’ll find out all of this really was about Jesus!”
All of us reading this have prayed: “Your kingdom come, your will be done.”
- But I wonder if we have prayed it half-heartedly.
- We’ve prayed it, but with an asterisk (like a sport’s record under unusual conditions).
- It’s true, but able to be retracted.
- True, but not really.
Part of it is as North Americans we are accustomed to being in control. We like being kings of our own lives. We’ve made our independence essential to our existence.
As I read the scriptures, I am reminded of God’s care, compassion, and love for all his image-bearers—and that means all. God does not release lists with who’s in and who’s out, who’s nonessential and essential.
God’s love for all people is essential.
In the novel, Gilead, Marilynne Robinson, writes: “The idea of grace had been so much on my mind, grace as a sort of ecstatic fire that takes things down to the essentials.”
- Maybe our independence is not essential to our wellbeing.
- Maybe travel is not the only way to see and understand more.
- Maybe investing in stocks and RRSPs isn’t the way to a secure future.
- Maybe the people we’ve looked past are the ones whose lives will point us most to Jesus.
- Maybe the prayers we only half meant are the prayers God will answer most clearly.
- Maybe these days will prove to be Kingdom-building, Kingdom-coming.
- Maybe we’ll all finally see what really was essential.
What are you learning and being taught in these days of physical distancing?