O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me?
So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
Some days it seems like it will never end. These Days of The Virus are taking their toll on most everybody. When it all began, way back in Lent, I was certain things would be back to normal by Easter. Of course they would be! And I wondered sincerely why people were hoarding toilet paper. I thought if one ran short, one could always go back to the store and get more, right? Well, time proved me wrong on that one, didn’t it? And when, in early June, Rick and I traveled to the greater Boston area to visit our children who live there, I was planning to return with him in two weeks or perhaps stay an additional couple of weeks to assist with child care. The beloved six-year old grandson kept saying, “Grammy is staying all summer,” and “When Grammy leaves, summer will be over.” We laughed. But he was right. Sometimes children see things more clearly than we older, wiser adults. I wound up staying nine weeks past the original two weeks with Rick. (He flew home without the car, and more importantly, without his favorite golf clubs. He flew back up to drive home with me, and to make sure his clubs got back safely.) For the first time, I left my family in Massachusetts not knowing when I would see them again.
People are afraid. Nothing like this has happened in my memory – and I am old! The year 2020 has been one for the record books, and it isn’t over yet. We have yet to get through a contentious election, a record-setting hurricane season, schools opening and closing again, fires in California and in the Amazon rain forest. People who have up until recently been careful to observe safe practices to help stem the virus spread, have thrown their hands up and are ditching their masks and gathering in large, closely packed groups. And no matter what the bravado we try to exhibit, deep down, most of us are occasionally plagued with that vague uneasiness that borders on fear. What will happen next? And in such times it may be hard to pray. Our Father John Wesley had some advice on such times:
Pray, whether you can or not. When you are cheerful, and when you are heavy, still pray; pray with many or with a few words, or with none at all; you will surely find an answer of peace, and why not now? John Wesley in a letter to John Valton, 1764
And so as we march on through these Days of The Virus, let us remember that we are still the church, and we are never, ever alone.
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
O Lord, may my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. (from Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
Pastor Rachel Moser