Love Means Keeping Each Other Safe
We canceled the gorgeous in-person Christmas Eve celebration we planned at Middle Collegiate Church
, and all in-person worship through the end of January, and I hate COVID so much. But I’ve been thinking about what love calls us to risk. And this is what it looks like to love each other right now. Mary says “Yes,” to God knowing it brings *incredible* risk: She invites scandal. Others will shame her. She might shatter her relationship with Joseph. But she accepts that risk because the love she bears inside her will liberate others.
Love *always* carries risk. We open ourselves to the possibility of hurt—our hope may be shattered. And often it puts us at odds with a culture that far prefers peace to justice. I’ll risk so much for love. I’ve stood witness at the border before agents pointing rifles. I’ll march in the streets, as police respond with violence. I’ll get arrested. And I’ll keep proclaiming the gospel when people send racist hate, even death threats.
But here’s the one thing I will not risk: You. I will not encourage my beloved family to cluster in church when doing that will threaten lives. Gambling with our neighbor’s safety doesn’t show how much we love God. It reveals how little we know of love. And here’s what else Mary knew: Love will always find a way. Even if it’s not the one you imagined. (I’m guessing a manger wasn’t option A.) When we dare to risk what’s worth risking—while holding fiercely what is not—God is alive. Born in our midst.
So we’ll continue to worship online through the end of January, as we assess when it might be possible to return to an in-person option. Rest assured, we will communicate as soon as anything changes. But, in the meantime, we can’t wait to praise God with you in the online spaces at middlechurch.org or our Facebook and YouTube accounts. Most important, we’ll be safe. And we’ll be together.