Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”  He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” – Matthew 12:9-12 (NIV)

Today marks one-year since the first Covid-19 related death in the U.S. (confirmed by the CDC in April of 2020). As of the beginning of this week, the number was 444,274.

Nearly half a million lives lost to Covid-19.

There continues to be much debate about how this country has handled the pandemic: not only the handling by presidential administrations, but also business communities and faith communities. Too many have responded as if their “freedoms” and/or their bottom line are more important than the lives of others – and even their own lives.

Jesus reminds those looking to catch him up – and reminds us, too – of the value of human life. Of the need to look beyond ideologies and practices and traditions, and envision the well-being of all humanity. That it is always the right time to do good.

God, forgive us where we have forgotten our collective humanity. Grant us wisdom to know how best to show up with and for one another, and the courage to do so. May we use all that you give us in service to the building of your beloved community. Amen.

About the Author
Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.