COVID-19 and Good Friday

When I got up this morning I turned on the news. That is generally how I start each day during this COVID thing. I’m interested in knowing the numbers each day of people who have been diagnosed, people who have died, and people who have recovered.
But then I inevitably hear other news related to the virus that is almost always bad. Seniors are dying in homes all alone. More than 1 million people are now unemployed in Canada because of all of the businesses that have had to close down due to this thing. Protective masks and gloves are running out and difficult to get a hold of in hospitals. Mental health issues are on the rise. Domestic abuse is going through the roof. Many people are turning to alcohol and other drugs to escape the pain of this.
It’s brutal.
For the first time in my life I am often glad when the commercials come on as it is some respite from bad news after bad news. But this morning I really got angry with one of the ads. They were trying to sell some kind of exercise equipment. And the narrator said, “sitting is now the new smoking“. Man did that piss me off as a person who can only sit. I’m in a wheelchair for around 12-14 hours a day.
Even though there probably is some truth to what he said, what am I supposed to do about it?
Ugh!
But then I read a status update from a friend of mine who lives in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver with his family. He was asking for prayer because COVID-19 has finally arrived in the community. What will people that live in single room occupancy (SRO) buildings do? What about people who live right on the street with no place to go whatsoever?
It reminded me, yet again, that my problems are by far not the only ones to focus on.

Erinn and I ‘attended’ the online service that our church did this morning for Good Friday. We prayed the prayers together and sang the songs. One of the songs really captured me. It was that we are longing for death to die. I never really thought about it that way.
Death dying.
It’s a profound idea that, most times, I believe has and will happen. Even though on this day we remember that Jesus died in a horrific, violent, painful, lonely way, we also know that Easter is just around the corner.
Come on Easter!
The downtown Eastside of Vancouver needs this!
Parkdale needs this!
The Homeless shelters need this!
Seniors homes need this!
Unemployed folks need this!
Addicts need this!
Lonely people need this!
Hospitals need this!
The world needs this!

I need this!

Prayer
(Based on today’s gospel reading found in John 18:1-19:42
Good Friday God,
Every year at this time I wonder what makes this day ‘good’. I read about Jesus’ betrayal by his friends, the crying out for his murder by the masses, and his absolutely unthinkable death. And I think to myself there’s not much good about any of this.
Then I think about the condition of the world and all of the injustice and unfairness and think there’s not much good about that either.
Then I think about my own condition of sickness and again I think there’s not much good about that.
But then I thankfully sang a song about death dying today. And I sang it with my wife who loves me and who I love. And I was reminded yet again that Good Friday is not the end of the story.
That’s why today is good.
God,
Bring on Easter.
We need this!
Amen

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