Since we’ve been sheltering in place and managing our current situation, I’ve heard the slogan, “We’re in this together” repeatedly. I guess while I am struck by it, I’ve never quite drank the kool-aid. Why? Because every demonstration seems to mock this consideration. Folx won’t wear masks, folx won’t stay home, and folx won’t refuse to gather. Folx somehow forgot that in Biblical times, during slavery and even today, some are forbidden to gather in sanctuaries or even proclaim the name of the Lord aloud and in public. Folx seem only to be concerned with their momentary satisfaction, often to the detriment of others unless it specifically impacts them. The selfishness is sickening and yet, I cannot help but wonder if my seemingly small notice of this behavior is what God is tremendously exhausted by, both inside and outside of a pandemic. When have I been disobedient and acted in opposition to what the Lord is directing, fully aware and cognizant of fulfilling my temporary satisfaction, I imagine God disappointed, but assuming a posturing of lovingkindness nonetheless. While I don’t want to take for granted the connections I have in the earth, because each of us are flawed individuals desperately in need of Blood of Jesus for our daily deportment, I’ve been curious as to “We’re in this together,” is less about us as co inhabitants and more about us in our residency in Jesus the Christ.
The eighth chapter of Romans is rich with oil! It begins with reminding us that there is no condemnation and ends with affirming that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Imagine that! Nothing we do will cause us to lose our residency appointment in Christ Jesus! Yet often our trials and challenges and assignments can make us feel isolated and alone. It is possible to be an inhabitant of 7.5 billion people in the world, and still feel as 1 is the loneliest number. And slogans such as, “We’re in this together,” appear and feel superficial, as we navigate haunted memories, crushing disappointment, insurmountable pain, pensive pain and relentless tears. In those moments, I’ve looked, perhaps like you for the “we.” Isn’t it just like God to provide a response that sends assurance to our soul?
There are more “these things” than I feel as though I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. There is sickness, death, famine, unemployment, homelessness, addition, civil unrest, lack of leadership and racism running wildly through the land – and selfishness that doesn’t take thought for others like never before. Yet, we are reminded that we are not alone. In Romans 8:31, the question is posed, “What shall we say to these things?” The “we” are those who have accepted Christ. It is naive of us to look for, expect, anticipate or put our hope in those who do not ascribe to the “we.” We must put our hope in Christ and lean on those who also lean on Him. That is how we draw our strength. That is how we access our affirmation in the earth. That is how we truly experience a “We’re all in this together” experience. And if we are together and we are in the Vine – indeed we will make it out alright.
Lord, please remind us often that we are able to depend upon one another to make it through this season. Please remind us of the help we forget. From others and from you.