Daily Archives: March 14, 2020

(NYT Op-ed) The Christian Response to the Coronavirus: Stay Home

Regardless of our beliefs, the one experience common to all humanity is that we die. In that we share a kinship. But Christians can, through their actions and faith, lodge their protest against this great enemy, not as a shaking of one’s fist at the wind, but as testimony to the greater hope of the eventual defeat of death itself. The thing we must always struggle to discern is the proper shape of that testimony.

When I was younger, I had an aunt stay with us for a few days who was afflicted with H.I.V. I was only a child and the information was hazy and jumbled in my developing mind. I do remember vividly sitting at our dinner table eating fries with a little too much ketchup. She came and sat next to me and asked if she could have some. I was afraid. What if she had a cut on her lip and bled into the fries and I wouldn’t be able to tell? Could it be spread through saliva? I was terrified, but I loved my aunt more than I feared her disease. So we ate fries together and I swallowed my terror. That hasty communion is my lasting memory of her.

During the AIDS epidemic, many churches showed their solidarity by sharing the bread and the wine with the infected to show that there was nothing to fear. Today, it may be that we show our solidarity by not sharing.

The Gospel of John recounts Jesus’ words to his disciples in the upper room before his death. During this final discourse, he tells them that it is better that he goes away so that the comforter (the Holy Spirit) would come. The point is that the loss of his physical presence through his death, resurrection and ascension would lead to an even deeper communion with God. It is possible that, strangely enough, the absence of the church will be a great testimony to the presence of God in our care for our neighbors.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Theology

Sunday Designated a National Day of Prayer

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The President of the United States has called the nation to a day of prayer regarding the coronavirus this Sunday, March 15.

As a Province, let us join in this effort, whether from Canada, the U.S., or Mexico.

This Sunday, let’s pray and fast for our nations:

  • repenting of our sins and asking God’s forgiveness
  • asking God’s intervention to stop the spread of this virus
  • asking God for healing for those who are sick
  • asking God to use us, his people, as agents of love and compassion
  • asking God to draw people to himself through the saving power of Jesus on the cross.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

O strong Lord God, Who wilt judge all mankind, grant to the exalted humility, to the desolate thankfulness, to the happy sympathy with sorrow; that so earthly eminence may become a stepping-stone to heavenly heights, and loneliness may introduce to the full communion of saints, and joy blossoming in time may bear eternal fruit. Be we high or low, prosperous or depressed, wheresoever, whatsoever we be, make us and ever more keep us well-pleasing in Thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another…

Psalm 75:6-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture