Distance?

March 21st, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 4

Distance?

How things have changed in a matter of days!

Writes a correspondent for the Associated Press:

It did not come all at once, though it came quite rapidly. As had happened in other lands, there was no explosion, no invasion other than a microscopic one that nobody could see. There was no fire, no flood, no famine. There were no barbarians at the gates. … The weather was the same weather. The streets were the same streets. The emptiness fell bit by bit, piece by piece …. Some stopped going out in the evening. Then in the afternoon. Then all day. Some stopped getting haircuts, and some stopped cutting hair. Some stopped going out to eat, and some restaurants shut their doors except for takeout and delivery. Some, many, most stopped going to school. Home became the primary landscape.”

And all of us were told to maintain “social distancing.”

Advised the Journal of the American Medical Association this week:

Avoid large crowds, crowded public places, and maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others, especially if they are coughing or sneezing. This is known as social distancing.”

Good words, no doubt. Even the Catholic Church is forgiving sins at a distance, as long as the afflicted say a certain number of prayers and follow important church celebrations online. They must also read the Bible for at least half an hour a day, apparently.

And, in an unprecedented Faculty Meeting of Dallas Seminary last week (which will, no doubt, become precedent in the next few weeks/months), about 75 of us met on Zoom! Distanced!

But hopefully “social distance” doesn’t really mean distanced from one another in every respect. (Maybe we should have called these measures “physical distancing” or “contact distancing,” not social.)

For the people of God, believers in Jesus Christ, are created to be a community. Ideally, physically, but also otherwise. The “one another” passages in the New Testament attest to the critical importance of not being distanced (even if one physically is) from one another.

We, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Romans 12:5

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love;
give preference to one another in honor.
Romans 12:10

Be of the same mind toward one another;
do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.
Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Romans 12:16

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another;
for one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Romans 14:19

Here’s counsel from Martin Luther, written during the time of the plague (in 1527):

I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Stay safe. Wash hands. Avoid contact. Trust God.

 

SOURCES:
AP, JAMA, Yahoo!

4 Comments

  1. John March 22, 2020 at 7:06 am

    Thanks, Abe, especially for this apt word from Martin Luther.
    3 John 2

    Reply
  2. marc March 22, 2020 at 1:07 am

    Amen. Sending up sky telegrams 🙏 for you and for all the community at Dallas Theological Seminary. (marc/DTS/2016)🙏🇨🇦

    Reply

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