The decisions that we make to lock or unlock doors cannot be made solely on the basis of our own safety. We have responsibilities, as leaders within and examples to our communities, that extend beyond our walls. During the pandemic crisis, some of us found that our fear of personal illness paled when compared to the fear of causing harm to our communities, of becoming the center of a “super-spreader” event, sowing death and disease among the neighbors we are called to love as ourselves. The question of opening or locking our doors has become more complicated as we assess not only our bodily health but also our unseen influence in the world.
—Rosalind C. Hughes, Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence (Upper Room Books, 2021)
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“I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
—John 17:15-18, NRSV
Prayer for the Week
Lord, even though I walk through lonely and dark times, I will fear nothing, because you are with me; your guidance and authority comfort me. (Adapted from Psalm 23:4)
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Help make your church a safer place for children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Join us in October for a four-part webinar series introducing Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust within Faith Communities. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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