Even in the midst of a year where staying healthy means keeping physical distance from others, I’m deeply aware of how important community is. In fact, in some ways the pandemic has made this clearer than ever.

That’s why the Italians were singing from their balconies in April. That’s why the news has had stories of people coming out to their driveways each day to exercise or enjoy some live music while keeping distance. That’s why rocks painted with messages of hope have become a regular thing, and signs supporting frontline workers are still around in many neighbourhoods.

We are finding new ways to have community, even as we keep our distance from each other. And it is a sign of the advancement of what it means to be human and civilized.

Take this:

It is a sign of how advanced we are that we care for the least, and the lost, and the lonely. It’s also something Jesus would have us do.

So I encourage you to find ways to reach out. Your community doesn’t have to be huge – but it should include some people who need your help, as well as people on whom you can rely for help.

Be a helper, and be willing to accept help. It will make you more civilized, more human, more connected – even in a time of separation.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, carry one another’s burdens. By this you will fulfil the law of Christ (that’s actually the second part of Galatians 6:2).