For the self-exiled during the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D., President, World Association for Christian Communication, Director of Mission Theology, Retired, United Methodist Women
We believe in God the Almighty who hovered in love over the primeval chaos and uttered creation into existence out of a holy mess.
We believe in the One who breathed the breath of life into human and engendered the primal family and community into being
We believe in the magnificent signature of God’s image in every human being, signed in infinite variety, and sewn in multicolored splendor, even when it is humanly difficult to experience it in our damaged bodies.
We believe in the self-revelatory signature of God in Jesus Christ who came to restore healing and wholeness into every fiber of our existence.
We believe in Jesus Christ who came to show that salvation is healing and wholeness, and who opened our eyes that we may see each other into God’s image– beyond the troubling stereotyping and systemic use of race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability, and other identity markers to divide and fragment us.
We believe in Jesus who came to open our hearts to the God who so-loved-the- world, and who calls forth discipleship from among us to the alleviation of human suffering. That we may see the whole world of ours, as never before, as a God-loved, God-breathed, and God-reconciled world.
We believe in the Crucified God who embraces with his wounded arms those who die alone at this time.
We believe in the Resurrected Savior who invites us to touch his wounds, if we lack belief during these times of paralyzing fear and numbing trauma.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who fosters connected relationships across the divides, while we sit with ourselves.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who always pushes the church to reach out to the margins, and enter into the exilic homes through the gifts of technology, nudging each of us to birth hope and resilience. We, also, believe that the digital divide is human-created and greed-sponsored, and the front-line workers embody flesh-and-blood communication.
We believe that beyond the ravages of time and this pandemic, we will be restored into wellness and wholeness, with different understandings of what it is to be the Church in the world.
We believe that one day, we will be fully restored into God’s image and God’s healed Body. Then wholeness will be the theme of the great orchestral music of the Church and the cosmos.
Until then, we will build bridges of healing and reconciliation with each other and God’s creation.
Therefore, we will commit ourselves every day to healing and wholeness until that day. Amen.