Social distancing is one of the most effective things we can do to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, public health experts say.
But can it also be an act of Christian service and worship? Members of WCPI’s Faith & Values Panel answer yes, emphatically.
“Life is sacred because God made it,” said Father Ben Randall of St. Matthews Episcopal Church in a WCPI interview airing this Holy Week. “Social distancing could be an act of worship. It would honor God because He created life.”
The local Episcopal pastor went further, suggesting that “protecting strangers” by avoiding exposing them to possible contagion aligns perfectly with Christ’s teachings and acts of healing.
Randall joins Rev. Carol Ann Richardson of Martin’s Chapel United Methodist Church and pastor Jeff Page of McMinnville Church of God, formerly Locust Street Church of God, for the half-hour radio roundtable.
The recorded conversation airs on public radio 91.3 Wednesday, April 8, at 3 p.m., Thursday at 3 a.m., 11:05 a.m. and 11:05 p.m., Friday at 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 4:30 a.m.
“The Faith & Values Panel is long-standing tradition on WCPI, with special broadcast events in the Christmas season and the week before Easter Sunday,” said Mary E. Cantrell, general manager and program director of non-commercial WCPI. The panel is composed of ministers and spiritual leaders from various churches in Warren County.
“Jesus is meeting us in our homes with families eating meals together and being together,” Richardson said when asked how Christ is present with believers during times of crisis, turmoil and privation.
“Jesus, if you had been here our brother would not have died,” Page recalled, quoting the early disciples Mary and Martha when they were plunged into crisis with the death of their brother Lazarus.
Jesus is always present, the radio panelists affirmed. But then He showed His power as the Son of God in raising their brother from his tomb. (John 11)
As for our fear and anxiety with the COVID 19 pandemic, we cannot see the ultimate outcome. But it should be sufficient for us to know, as Page emphasized, God’s promise: “I know the plans I have for you … plans not for evil but for good.”