November 8, 2020
Every morning when I walk, I see the signs that remind me: We are surrounded by a great cloud of caregivers, too often invisible to us, though our well-being and that of our loved ones and communities is dependent upon their work and their commitment to their mission. When COVID-19 swelled to pandemic proportions this winter, most of us locked down to protect ourselves, but nurses, techs, chaplains, doctors and support staff remained at their posts without adequate personal protective equipment or knowledge of the scope of the virus, still serving the sick and the infected, knowing as they did that they were putting themselves and their families at risk. All paid a high cost, and some gave their lives. In nursing homes and elder adult living facilities, and with hospice and in-home care workers, the warning signs that kept everyone else at a safe distance did not prevent these caregivers from attending to the frail and vulnerable. Many of these essential workers could not have stayed home if they wanted to; as part of the nation’s vast informal economy, their ability to feed and house their families depended on the ability to show up, even when it meant risking infection. Many in this gig economy of caregivers themselves lack access to consistent health care … and still, they show up.
It is not only caregivers in the health industry to whom we owe our deep gratitude in this hard season of pandemic, but those whose caregiving work educates and tends our children; those who march out to the endless fire lines in California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado; and those who prepare shelters and manage preparation and recovery during this impossibly active hurricane season, and answer emergency calls at every hour, day or night. We owe our well-being, our survival, to these often-unsung neighbors. So, let us pray in gratitude:
The Rev. Dr. Laurie A Kraus, Associate Director of Compassion, Peace & Justice
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 8, 2020, the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
First Reading Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Gospel Matthew 25:1-13
Today’s Focus: Caregiver Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Melody Smith, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Stephen Smith, Presbyterian Foundation
Let us pray:
God of compassion, as the heart of your son Jesus was broken by the needs of the vulnerable around him and your mercy extended through Christ’s healing care, so we recognize how Christ himself is present in the hands and hearts of caregivers. We give thanks for those who care so deeply beyond the bounds of family and friends that they give themselves to this high and holy work, serve strangers and put themselves at risk for the well-being of their community. Cover them with your grace and protect them by your power. Help those of us who benefit by their calling to see and support them with gratitude and justice; in the name of Jesus the Christ, amen.