Like you, events in the news have been on my mind. Yesterday Ray and I were in a Zoom meeting. When the subject of events in the news came up in the conversation, one person said that he believes that 99 percent of Americans are good, law-abiding people. As I contemplated his statement later, I thought of a verse in 1 Thessalonians:
Now as to the love of the brothers and sisters, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another . . . . But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to excel even more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we instructed you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
What wonderful goals for homeschooled children:
- Love their fellow Christians,
- Lead a quiet life,
- Attend to their own business,
- Work with their hands,
- Behave properly toward people who are not Christians,
- Not be in any need.
2020 was a year when many of us got tired of one particular news topic: COVID. I haven’t written about it in a while because it is so controversial. However, I am convicted that I need to write about it today. I have already written about ways that this sometimes mild, sometimes horrible, and sometimes somewhere in between disease has affected the people I love. Today I want to share ways it has affected our loved ones recently. Ray and I are fine and our children are fine. None has the virus and none have had the virus. However:
- My happy, active, bowling-three-times-a-week Uncle Billy passed away on December 4 after weeks in the hospital and finally losing his battle with COVID.
- A well-meaning person inadvertently took the virus into a local nursing home several weeks ago. Every single one of the 41 patients there tested positive after that. Three people from our church were residents of the nursing home at that time. All three of them died.
- This week the positive cases among people we love include one young adult who is quite sick at home, one person our age who is very sick at home, and one person a few years older than we are who has been in the hospital on oxygen since Monday.
In March Ray and I made a decision to be extremely careful for two reasons. We didn’t want to get sick. We didn’t want to hear that someone else got sick or died after being with us. As I told a friend on the phone yesterday, maybe I do need to write about the virus. It might save someone’s life.
Ray and I are like many other people. We are tired of being careful. However, on Christmas Eve, Tennessee (where we live) had the highest new case rate in the United States. Our governor has requested that we work from home and wear masks but we have no requirements to do so.
While some people don’t believe in the reality of this pandemic, Ray and I would be foolish not to believe it. It has touched people we love, and it has killed some of them.
For me the answer to all the news is the simple truth that Jesus told a lawyer 2,000 years ago. To obey His simple truth I must remember: I have no rights that are more important than my God and my neighbor.
And He said to him,
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is the great and foremost commandment.
The second is like it,
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”