An episode of the classic TV show Twilight Zone was called “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” In this episode, the power goes out in a neighborhood. Someone suggests the possibility that this is the work of aliens and that one family is in cahoots with the invaders. Later power is restored at one house, then a different one, then a different one. The gathered crowd turns into a violent mob, accusing and attacking one another.
Is that where we’re headed with the coronavirus? Will we be pointing fingers and accusing people? Will we stand in judgment on our friends and neighbors?
Our will we remember principles of justice, like innocent until proven guilty? More importantly, will we remember principles of our faith, like love and mercy, like compassion and forgiveness, like “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…”
May Christians be remembered as the ones who helped share peace during this time, not those that added to the panic. May we be remembered those who showed compassion to the sick, rather than those who stood in judgment on them. May we be remembered as those who loved our neighbors as ourselves and loved our God above all else.
Maybe we need to hear Rod Serling’s words from the end of that Twilight Zone episode:
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices…to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill…and suspicion can destroy…and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own – for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.