God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…. Psalm 46, 1-2.
It is nearly impossible to read anything in the Bible and not immediately interpret the calamities as symbolic of our world today. We are surrounded by the spread of the coronavirus, and the news inundates us with fear and uncertainty that such a pandemic brings. This is an unprecedented time for most of us. I have never looked out my window on a sunny spring weekday morning and seen I-395 near desolate. Doubt we have ever seen the toilet paper and pasta aisles in the grocery quite so empty. It was surreal to stand outside St. John’s on Sunday morning and not see our lively congregation. It would be easy to dwell only on these things and cloak ourselves in anxiety and stress about what may come.
Amidst the darkness, however, there is good in this time. The physical-distancing forces us to slow down and not be so harried in the multitude of events that consume our lives. Families are reconnecting over dinner tables at night. Communities are coming together, like the Italians singing “Andrà tutto bene” from their balconies, recognizing the importance of connecting and loving one another. Neighbors are bringing groceries (and finding toilet paper) for neighbors. Our church and worship has not stopped – it reaches us online directly in our homes. What better time than the Lenten season to slow down and act on our Christian responsibility to love and serve each other in God’s love.
Psalm 46 reminds us that “The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Take this time to remember he is with us in this uncertain time, and that in his love we are a community together, come what may. With God as our refuge and strength, “Andrà tutto bene”…everything will be alright.
Appointed readings for today: