High River United Church of High River, Alberta

Pandemics are Opportunities

I want to begin by acknowledging the grief, the pain, the loss of jobs and income, and the loneliness that have been caused by this pandemic. There are many in this world for whom COVID-19 has brought disaster and death. So, you might ask, how can a pandemic be seen as an opportunity?


I understand the pandemic to have brought many opportunities, though we would have preferred them to come through gentler and kinder means:


- medical advancements. The learnings from the development of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 will be used in other medical areas.


- technological advancements. The development of better equipment and better PPE, etc. will continue to be a benefit long after the pandemic is over.


- adaptations in our own lives and in business practices. Some of us have made choices, spurred by the pandemic, to change aspects of our lives and businesses, changes that we will continue to embrace after the pandemic concludes.


-the most important opportunity is for us to understand that we are part of a worldwide community, that the suffering in one part of the world is suffering that affects everyone. We are all in this together.


In fact, that is what “pan-demic” means. From Greek, pan means “all” and demic from demos means people.  So literally, a pandemic is one that affects all people around the world. No one is immune. Until every country has access to enough vaccine, no country or community is entirely safe. We are all in this – all people.


Therefore, pandemics also are opportunities to unite all people of the world for a common cause. We have the opportunity to work together so that everyone around the world has health, livelihoods and well-being restored. And the learnings of working together through this pandemic can be taken into other worldwide concerns, such as the effects of climate change.


As the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, in comparing the community of people to a human body , “As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eyes can not say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”…If one member suffers, all suffer together with it, if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:20-26 NRSV)


Pandemics are opportunities to realize that we are all in this together, and that if one person is suffering we all suffer. May we embrace this wisdom!


Rev. Susan

 And thanks to Darlene for this idea!


a community of help, home & hope, serving in Christ's name





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