Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35, 37-39 (NRSV)
The global pandemic introduced ways for us to keep apart physically while still navigating connectivity from a safer distance. Some of us are itching to be back in large groups, without fear or risk, while others are continuing to appreciate the moments alone. Some of us have had the privilege of isolating by choice, while others haven’t had secure options or have found themselves forced to take risks by necessity of role or income.
The racial, economic, social, and other systemic inequalities continue to divide us into tiny fragments preventing us from being whole. Most of us are literally unable to survive these injustices baked into society. With each new headline, it seems the divisions and the despair only get wider.
Wherever you may be on that complex web of existence, Paul reminds us that no matter how grim and isolating life can be, there’s absolutely nothing that can separate us from God’s love!
Neither a pandemic nor any variant, nor physical distancing, nor social inequalities, nor anything can ever separate us from you. Amen.
The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is the Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement of the United Church of Christ. They are also the Founder of Salus Center, the only LGBTQ resource and community center in Lansing, MI.