Healing God, give us courage to face uncertain times and faith to know that you are always making things new. And remind us that with every circumstance, you are also making us new. Amen.
The images presented in the lessons this Sunday begin with great distress. Hannah not only suffers the misery of being unable to get pregnant but also the torment of her husband’s other wife who is plenty fertile and makes fun of Hannah’s vulnerability, which causes even more pain. In the letter to the Hebrews, the priest stands day after day offering the same sacrifices over and over but great are the sins of the people and judgment remains. The Gospel lesson speaks of suffering and death, wars and rumors of wars, fighting among nations, earthquakes, famine, and disasters.
You might have your own list of troubles as we continue to navigate our way through a global pandemic and its impact. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and dismayed; and there are days when I have to remind myself that even a small step forward can be miraculous and worthy of celebration.
Despite the many calamities in our lessons, we also find messages of renewal, reversal, and hope, which is also true for our lives. The answers we seek may not always emerge as we had imagined, but it does not mean that something new and wonderful is not possible.
Here at the church, we are constantly re-evaluating and re-imagining—changing registration for worship, where and how the services are laid out, what needs to be included in the bulletins, whether to sing or not, adding a Saturday afternoon experience called “A New Song”, etc. etc. When in crisis, we must be willing to pivot and look for new and creative ways to not only survive but also thrive. Sometimes, the most amazing things are born out of chaos—just ask Hannah!
How do you push through chaos in order to give birth to new dreams and fresh possibilities?
Grace and peace,