“treasures in jars of clay” (2 Cor 4:7)

Reflections from your pastor

The incessant sound of blaring ambulance sirens outside my window throughout the day is a stark reminder of the reality in which I live. While I do my best to self-quarantine and keep my spirits high, each siren reminds me of the profound pain that many people are going through…. Then there is the news of whether we should place human life or the economy first. Should we soften some of the restrictions on social distancing in an attempt to alleviate the financial stress on our economy? Yes, some people will die as a result, but for the vast majority, our economic suffering would be reduced.

All of this has led to me thinking about the connection between the “frailty” of life and the “sanctity” of life. Never before has the frailty of life felt so real and tangible. People in our neighborhoods, our apartment complexes, even within our churches and families are being affected (or shall I say “afflicted”) by COVID-19. Just last night, at Elmhurst Hospital, 12 people died from complications related to the coronavirus. This is our present reality. Life is so frail.

And yet, what also seems to be growing within me, is the sense that each life holds “sanctity”. Each person is created by God, in the image of God, and loved completely by God. Each person has sacred worth in the eyes of God. In fact, one of the lessons God is teaching me during this time is to see each person from this perspective. In the past (before COVID-19), when I heard ambulance sirens, it meant little to me unless somehow I knew that person. But now I think, that’s someone’s mother or father, someone’s grandparent or child, someone’s friend, or neighbor or teacher or doctor. Each person, each siren, so precious, so valuable, so sacred and irreplaceable. It seems to me that the frailty of life reminds us of the sanctity of life.

Apostle Paul speaks of our lives as “treasures in jars of clay” (2 Cor 4:7). I believe this is an appropriate image to describe our lives in the present context. One of the lessons God is teaching me is to value and appreciate life and each person. The gift of my wife and children, all my relatives and friends who I hold in my thoughts and prayers each day, and the precious life of each of our church members – these are all precious and holy gifts from God, to be loved and cherished each and every day. I pray that in the midst of this frail and vulnerable time, God would increase our conviction of the sanctity of every life and remind us to appreciate those God has placed in our midst.

Pastor Kim