Your English lesson of the day is on the origin of the word: “Pandemic”
Pan = all
-dem = community, people
-ic = a suffix forming adjectives from other parts of speech
You and I are literally and figuratively in the middle of the word Pandemic. Isn’t it interesting how, if you take away “dem”, the community, all that you are left with is a “Panic?!”
So how do we overcome or drive out the fear that comes with a “Pan-ic?” – through perfect love. By loving one another and soaking up the love that God has poured out to each of us through His son.
1 John chapter 4 could not be any more perfect for this exact topic. Read with me below (I added the bold in some places):
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Most of y’all know my love for Star Wars. It’s part of my blood (and both my kids are already wielding lightsabers most days). In the most recent movie, The Rise of Skywalker, Poe Dameron hit the nail on the head when he said, “The First Order (the bad guy) wins by making us think we’re alone. We’re not.”
Isolation is one of Satan’s main tactics – and usually the attack is always in our mind (just look in the Bible and you will see tons of verses about battles for our thoughts). He wants you to think you are alone; that you are the only one who has ever felt “this way,” left out, shut out, or that you are the only one to ever have dealt with a temptation like “fill in the blank.” That is why he is called, in a very matter of fact way, “The Father of Lies.”
So how do we fight isolation? First, by remembering we are not alone. Begin each day by reminding yourself how loved you are. Read 1 John 4 again if you need to. Then out of that love, you can share it with others. Even though we are in our homes for what already seems like 525,600 minutes, we have to find ways to still connect with others. We Need Community! And, as a medical professional, I must mention that following the guidelines of our leaders and officials on keeping your germs to yourself is VERY IMPORTANT right now. It just means we have to be more creative in how we take care of one another at a distance – it does not make it impossible 🙂
Technology has never been my favorite but boy am I thankful for it these days. People need people, just ask Barbra Streisand. Use technology for good – but don’t let it steal your present joy by becoming a distraction from what is right in front of you. I have found zoom meetings, Facetime, text messages, and the Nextdoor app very helpful in talking with family, friends and neighbors.
You have what it takes to disrupt the Panic. People, specifically “The Church,” are called to share with others the gospel of Christ. A gospel that includes an all powerful God of creation, a sacrificial loving Savior, the wisdom and peace of mind flowing from the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the future hope of eternity in fellowship with the Trinity; an eteranal community with other believers in a world free of pandemics and all other sadness or fear. Please be the one to Reach Out to others. Check on each other, see if they need toilet paper or a prayer. Let’s learn to be the virtual hands and feet of Jesus.
My prayer for you is that when you now hear the word Pandemic, that you are reminded of the importance of the “dem.” If you find yourself getting trapped by isolation or fear, cast it out with perfect love. Look to the Heavenly Father, find a way to connect with others that can refresh your spirit, then share that love to the World!
One way to connect with others is on Sunday morning. You can come to church with me, no matter where you are! Just go to https://Kingsland.org/live . Services are at 8AM, 9:30AM, and 11AM. I’ll be “at” the 9:30 one on my back porch.
Have Courage, Be Kind, and Let your Light Shine!
– Lindsey Alaine