April 7, 2020
“Woman, behold, your son! …Behold, your mother!”— John 19:26-27 —
Two things are of note here.
The first is this: Jesus was a real person, with real relationships. He’s not a mythological figure or fairytale character: he had a family; he had friends. And in his final hours, hanging on the cross, he cares for his mom Mary in her heartbreak, his beloved friend John in his grief. He asks them to take care of each other, to bear each other’s burdens in love.
The second follows: this same Jesus, who asked his mother and friend to love each other and bear their sorrows together, asks all his friends — which is what he calls us, if we do his will (John 15:14-15) — to love each other, to care for each other, to bear each other’s burdens.
As we stay in our homes, this feels harder and harder to do. Care and comfort are gestures of our embodied selves: we embrace, we squeeze hands, we cry, we laugh, we sing. To care for each other normally means to be with each other physically. Phone calls and Facebook posts, texts and Zoom meetings are helpful tools for connection and love right now, but we feel deeply that they are not enough. Virtual presence is not the same as being with each other.
Let us not confuse technology’s help in these lonely hours for our hope and healing. Only Jesus can bring us together in Spirit and in love to care for each other. And let us do all we can — using technology, yes — to love each other.
In You alone, all things hold together.
May Your love bind up our broken hearts,
So that we may comfort each other with the comfort you give us.
In your name we pray,