Passover-the most celebrated holiday of the jewish calendar. It started because God ordered everyone to stay at home, protecting them from His judgement, and ultimately giving His people freedom. The first occurrence happened in isolation. Exodus 12:22 "...And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning." The spiritual unity of Israel is what protected the vulnerable population (the oldest sons in this case). How should this story inform our decisions today? There are many arguments for the importance of gathering in challenging times, to offer support and comfort to each other. But what do we do when the act of gathering, endangers the lives of people we love? Let's take a closer look.
Exodus 12:3-4 "Speak to all the congregations of Israel, saying 'On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of persons, according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb."
Compassion for the lonely and isolated was not absent. Israel was instructed to take into consideration the size of each household, and adjust accordingly. It was not based on family connection, but rather geographic location. Things were kept small and local. Neighbors were called upon to look after one another, and provide whatever was needed.
Now, granted, this is not a perfect comparison. Israel was informed of the duration of this particular plague, and who it would affect. They were prepared. Nevertheless, it is still relevant, because we have one thing that Israel did not: technology. Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams; we have all these ways to virtually gather. Let's use them. Businesses run on the utilization of such technologies. Why can't families and congregations do the same?
As Covid numbers spike this holiday season, maybe we should rethink our priorities. Instead of it being about what we CAN do, consider what we SHOULD do. 1 Corinthians 10:23 "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being."