Faith Matters: Love

Contributing Writer Pastor Scott Hannon
Contributing Writer Rev. Dr. Scott D. Hannon St. John Lutheran Church, Amherst, NY

Like it or not…

Believe it or not…

Agree with it or not…

COVID-19 aka Coronavirus has reminded us that we are all in this together. When it comes to our health, safety, and livelihood, humanity is intricately and inexplicably tied together… to the point that there are no points of escape, denial, or refuge. In the past, the world could fall apart, and we could seek sanctuary in a church. All hell could break loose and we could turn our brains off at a movie theater. The yogurt could hit the fan and we could still distract ourselves with a sporting event. That is no longer the case.

Now we can’t.

Rather, the interconnectedness of humanity is on full display. The reality that we are not just responsible for ourselves, but for each other is unavoidable. During this time of isolation, fear, uncertainty, and anxiety I hope that we as a people can find a way to once again come together (even if that means staying apart!).

Now is not the time to build toilet paper towers in our basements. Nor is it an occasion to panic and run. Pointing fingers and blaming others won’t help. Putting our heads in the sand will be disastrous and potentially catastrophic.

In times like these we are tempted to think about ourselves – our safety, our supplies, our people, our protection. In the midst of that worry let us also consider the needs of our neighbors. Let us remember the poor and homeless who don’t have medical care. Let us remember the doctors, nurses, and hospital employees who can’t bunker down for a few weeks. Let us remember the immunocompromised and the already sick and suffering whose worries and fear are greater than others.

Let us remember that we are all in this together. Moreover, may this reminder of our interconnectedness help us to live, compromise, support, and care for each other even when the pandemic ends.

You’re going to have a lot of “experts” tell you what to do over the next few weeks. At times, their advice will contradict each other. You won’t know what you believe. Our insecurity will leave us desperate for certainty – tempted to listen to anyone or anything. At all times and in all places, leave a little room for some advice from the greatest teacher of all. When Jesus was asked what command or rule was the most important to follow, he said this:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

No matter what happens, don’t forget to love.

WAY-ward,

PSDH

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Pastor Scott Hannon
Pastor Scott serves the people of St. John by helping the congregation welcome everyone, care for one another, and grow in the joy of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Pastor Scott earned his bachelor’s degree at the University at Buffalo and went to seminary at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in preaching from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Pastor Scott and his wife, Kate, live in Bowmansville, NY with their children Molly, Delaney, and John Scott. Scott and Kate love Western New York for many reasons, not the least of which are the changing seasons, wonderful people, and of course the Buffalo Bills. Pastor Scott’s ministry priorities are worship, preaching and teaching. Scott’s hobbies are guitar, golf, and reading. To read some of Scott’s musings visit his blog Way-ward at www.psdh.org.