Scripture:  Romans 8:38–39 (Common English Bible Translation)
38 I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.

Separation. Since mid-March, separation has become the normal in our world. The Covid-19 virus has separated us from church, from jobs, from family and friends, from all the activities we take for granted every day. Simple things like dinner at a restaurant, a trip to the museum or the zoo, watching whatever sport is in season on television or going to the big stadiums here in Houston–all these and more have been taken off the menu of our daily lives. As the city slowly begins to reopen, have we learned to manage the difficulties of re-engaging? And have we forgotten the one thing that has not been separated from us?

God’s love flows to each of us without interruption. Night and day, God’s love surrounds each one of us, and we must remember that this great gift is ours to pass on to others. Sometimes that is easy, when we are joyfully reunited with family or a best friend. Sometimes it is much more difficult to share God’s love with someone we do not like or with someone that is an irritation in our lives. God’s love is so great that he sent his only son, our Lord Jesus, to walk as a man on earth. Jesus shared all the trials and tribulations of daily life while He was here, and God’s love flowed through him to everyone he encountered: lepers, the blind, those possessed with demons, even those who had him crucified. We know how cruelly Jesus was treated: beaten, humiliated, spit on, crucified. I have often wondered how hard it must have been for God to watch the son he loved so much treated so unmercifully. Yet God’s love stayed with Jesus while he was on the cross. I think that love is how Jesus withstood how he was treated. That love, so strong, so encompassing, is also given to each of us. The ministers and staff at St. Luke’s have worked so hard to share God’s love with the congregation while we have been separated, touching us through live streaming services, Zoom meetings, telephone calls and more. They model God’s love in everything they do for us. I believe God’s love is a great gift, flowing to each of us every minute of every day, through all our trials, tribulations, joys and everyday moments —and through separation. Shelter in God’s love, then share it with others in the way you live every day. His love is too great to keep it only for ourselves.

Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your encompassing love. It is a gift that fills our lives. Please give each one of us the strength to pass your love on to those we meet, whether they are family or strangers. And please fill this world with your healing touch.