Love Your Neighbor as Yourself in the midst of COVID 19

Thus is one of those articles I am wearing of holding in. I said I won’t write about COVID 19 because the media is doing it. This is not a news blog, I said to myself. This is an information desensitization blog. It then occurred to me that media will not introduce Christ unless they interview a church leader. Therefore, I write this in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am prompted to write about a scripture that Jesus refers to as one of the two greatest commands. A command we know very well but do not know where it is found in scripture.A command we know by tongue but not by action.On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”   “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”  He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”   “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:25‭-‬29 NIVThis is when Jesus gave the parable of the good Samaritan which we can narrate very well but cannot practice the lessons within.In this time where we are facing a global pandemic that is frightening to most love needs to be at the core.There are many ways we are failing in this critical global moment.I will not dwell on our fails but I will focus on how we can show love.

  1. Stop insulting and looking at those who cough or sneeze in a crude manner. We all sneeze due to allergic reactions or irritation and we cannot avoid it. We cough because we chock on saliva, food. Coughing or sneezing may be a symptom of COVID 19 but that doesn’t mean one has the disease. 
  2. If you are coughing or sneezing do itwith a bent elbow or tissue which you should discard immediately.
  3. Wash your hands/sanitize. As much as we are commanded to have faith, God expects us to take responsibility.
  4. Maintain social distance. Out of love for your neighbor do not put anyone at risk. I know it is difficult. I miss church service, I miss interacting with my colleagues at work. I miss the hearty handshakes, high fives and hugs but for the sake of my neighbor I will do it. 
  5. Correct those who don’t practice the aforementioned measures with love. Do not use insults to correct those who are not adhering to the measures put in place. Tough love is allowed but not insults.
  6. Avoid commuting. I know we are tempted to relocate to shagz now that we are working from home but supposing you are a career, don’t you think the people in shagz will suffer because of you were inconsiderate. Avoid going to places if you are feeling unwell. If you have fever, cough or difficulty breathing seek medical attention immediately.

Friends this is not a lack of faith. It is love for your neighbor. I know some have trusted in sanitizers more than God. That is a full article in itself but out of love let us maintain proper hygiene.

During the Bubonic plague this is what Martin Luther had to say;I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, adminster 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 neighbour needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above.”

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Luther’s example is a challenge to us all. To be fully human is to live your life for the sake of others. You become more yourself when you help others become more themselves. To love in selfless ways is to image God. This is what you are made for.Remember, By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”John 13:35 NIVNo one knows how to love perfectly but hey, Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.1 John 4:20‭-‬21 NIV

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