It was fairly obvious that before COVID-19, the United States was becoming increasingly divided. There were widening divisions across all types of groups – socio-economic, political, and even spiritual. It was almost as if there were alternate realities that people were living in. A potential silver-lining of the pandemic was to unite everyone back into the same reality.
Times of crises have tended to get people to rally together, at least historically. One of the most recent examples was that in the wake of 9/11 all of America stood united in solidarity with New York. There was a palpable sense patriotic resolve. But, this has not been the case with this current COVID-19 crisis. Instead of uniting us, it has perhaps caused us to fracture even further. Governors are quarreling with the president. The president is tweeting that certain states need to be liberated. Science and medical therapies have been coopted by various ideologies. People are protesting in the streets. Asians are experiencing racist attacks. Extremist pastors are getting arrested for defiance. Even though some estimate that, due to underreporting, the U.S. is experiencing the same death toll of 9/11 every day there is no unity to be found.
Jesus understood the danger division causes amongst groups of people. He knew that the more fractured we were, the more difficult it would be for us to handle the difficulties and attacks brought about by sin. This is why Jesus prayed, “Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that they can also be one in us.…Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as you loved me” (John 17:21,23). May we be an example to this divided world by being united with each other and with God!