Fear is in the air. I can't remember in my lifetime a series of events like the ones that have unfolded in the past week. Sporting events shuttered, air travel grounded, school systems closing their doors and Sunday worship services migrating on-line. The primary catalysis is the fear of the corona virus.
While I don't like my life being dictated by fear I found myself reflecting on other times when fear permeated our souls. I thought of 9/11. I thought of the great recession. I was talking with Heidi as we were planning worship and I remember visiting a patient in the hospital back in 1987 who was suffering from a strange, unknown illness. Later, it was named AIDS. Through each of these "outbreaks" of fear, we persevered and rose above our fears. I don't want fear to win. I want faith and the belief we will rise above to win the day.
Yesterday if we would have worshiped together we would have prayed the following confession. I chose this prayer several weeks ago yet before the corona virus fear took hold. While fear and worry are wrong in and of themselves, both can take us to dark places. Remember God's light shines in the darkness so have faith.
Eternal God, you call us to seek first your kingdom and you promise to provide for all our needs. We confess; however, that we fall short in our faith. So often our anxieties lead us down paths that are non-productive. Our worries can consume our thoughts and we fret about things that never seem to happen. Rather than experiencing delight in the gift of today, we wallow apprehensively about the concerns for tomorrow. O God of grace, free us from our anxiety and grant us peace of mind so that in the gift of this hour and the blessings of this day, we might come to know you more deeply and rest in the assurance of your promise that nothing can separate us from your great love. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
May God lessen our fears, heal the sick, comfort the grieving and create a vaccine to stop Covid 19. In the days and weeks ahead let's call upon our better angels and together we shall rise above!