Love in its most universal, purest form. Love in the form of social distancing, empty churches, and a unified support of healthcare workers. Love that crosses all borders and barriers. Love that is bigger than the fear enticing us to turn inward. Love that reaches out to our most vulnerable and too often forgotten neighbors around the world. Love that never ends.
There’s a story in the Bible to which I keep returning. It’s a little early in the church year to be sharing it, but there’s a moment after Jesus’ resurrection when the disciples are gathered in fear behind closed doors. It’s almost as though they too are sheltering in place. And then Jesus enters and stands before them. What does he offer? Peace. Deep peace.
“Peace be with you,” Jesus says. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). Dear friends, may you all experience this deep peace that Jesus offers. Peace that deepens your breath and calms your fears. Peace that fills your soul and connects you to the world. Peace that turns your hearts outward and sends you forth until God’s love reaches every neighbor.