Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! As I write this, it is Palm Sunday. I was refreshed by God's Word shared this morning in worship in our family room as we watched our Live Stream service, led by Pastor Drew Ross. As I sat there, and subsequently this afternoon, I am struck by the strangeness of our current situation. We stay inside...a lot! Our eyes are glued to our computer screen...a lot! Remote schooling for our students can get us down...a lot! We can feel isolated...a lot! Emails...a lot! People losing their jobs...a lot! We get caught up in fear...a lot! Yes, a lot of these things can get us down and make us frustrated. Yet, on the flip side, we have...a lot! We have food we need...a lot! We can binge-watch Netflix...a lot! God provides beautiful weather...a lot! We CAN go outside...a lot! We have technology to help us connect...a lot! We need to view our current reality as not only temporary, but we must view it in terms of Who God is, and how much God loves us...a lot! Consider Psalm 34:1-3, "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears."
Bill Siegrist, a classmate from Concordia, Nebraska, who currently serves on the Texas District staff, recently shared a prayer titled "Prayer for a Pandemic" by Dr. Cameron Wiggins Bellm of Seattle, Washington:
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have had to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.
Praying for you all...a lot! ~ Rachel Klitzing