Here you can find selected material from issues of Trinity Memorial Church's monthly newsletter, the Trinity Times
Reflecting on our Values
Those Who Do What is Needed
John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
kwpk I never thought I’d see as much light and love as I’ve seen in the darkness surrounding us at this time. In my own congregation, and in my neighborhood, many people are reaching out, offering to help those who can’t go out at this time; help with grocery runs, veterinary visits for beloved pets, and just to call, listen, or send a card, to remind people that they are not alone, that they are loved and cared for.
What we see on a small, personal scale in our congregation and neighborhood is replayed on a much larger scale around us: both the United Kingdom and NY issued a call for volunteers to aid on the front-lines taking care of patients stricken by COVID-19 or their caregivers; the response in the United Kingdom was summed up as: “we asked for volunteers and we got an army!” In NY, the response is just as overwhelming: 90,000 people from across the state and country offered to come to the help of the beleaguered NYC health care system.
Think about that: 90,000 people going off into an unknown, perhaps dangerous, situation to help their fellow humans. With Easter on my mind, it is hard not to see some parallels - Jesus’ disciples, after the despair over his death, and in-spired by His resurrection, continued to carry on His mission on earth, best as they understood it. All of them - except perhaps John - are known (or at least thought) to have paid with their lives for doing so: Stephen, Peter, Paul, …
The apostles in their days, and these volunteers in our days, truly: all who go out each day to help those of us who are ill, or simply stay home to keep from getting ill, exhibit a love for their fellow humans, and a willingness for their sake to put their own lives on the line that should give us pause: we read about the apostles’ acts, we listen to their writings in our services, we call them saints. What will we think of these brave workers and volunteers, as their stories play out? Will we allow their courage and their stories to impact our views of the world, as much as the lives and works of the apostles do?
Both, the apostles and these volunteers, in their willingness to offer their own health, well-being, and maybe lives, so that others may be saved, remind me of soldiers. Soldiers, too, are willing to give their lives so that others may live. Yet, our society appears to place a profoundly different value on the lives of soldiers protecting us, than it places on the lives of workers and medical professionals protecting us: the former are equipped with every protective technology we can invent, as it should be; the latter: we really can’t come up with enough personal protective equipment to keep them as safe as can be as they support us or go to the front-lines of battling this virus? I simply fail to grasp that this makes any sense. We live in a society, in which a significant share of people invokes the Bible, and professes to be guided, if not driven, by Christian values. I leave you with one question: really?