Many of you have emailed John and me to ask if this current COVID-19 crisis is like our experiences after 9/11. At first, our response is how different the two are. After 9/11, we were able to be together. The church was open nightly, and we spent so much time together as a church family: praying, singing, and lighting candles to witness to the light amid the darkness. By God’s grace we could serve the workers at Ground Zero, sharing a hot cup of coffee, and a blessing with a hand on a shoulder.
So, the message of stay together by staying apart feels very different and is much harder to live out.
But the similarities keep coming back to us…. There is that same pervasive feeling of fear. In north Jersey, we kept ducking at airplanes overhead for weeks after 9/11. And now, well, fear is in the very air we breathe.
There is the same heartbreak at the loss of so many, and the same full hearts at the kindness of strangers helping one another in ways both large and small.
Then there is the desire to check in with everyone in the church family – to make sure everyone is okay. From the moment the first plane hit, I was on the phone, calling our church members who worked downtown. And now? We are still calling folks, reaching out, with the aid of our amazing Deacons, to make sure folks are all right, that they have supplies, that they do not feel alone in all of this.
But the most common thread is prayer.
Sometimes prayer can feel rote, or rushed, or even repetitive. But in the midst of a national crisis, prayer is incredibly real and personal and life-giving. Prayer – that connection to the Lord – is the life jacket that keeps us afloat.
And it is prayer that leads us to much-needed hope, to peace, to knowing that we are held in Jesus’ sure grip.
May each of us, even from behind our masks and gloves, know the sure hope and peace that Christ brings.
On the Journey with you,
P.S. If you are a Liberty member currently serving in a medical or first responder capacity during this crisis, could you please send me your name? ([email protected]/ Attn. Pastor Becky) I would like to pray for you by name in worship on the 26th of April.
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