Greetings Promise Church,
One of the scriptures from the lectionary for this week is 1 Peter:3-9, which reads:
A Living Hope
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice,[ a] even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen[ b] him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
As we read this, we remember that there were people of faith who came long before us, and who faced some terrifying circumstances, including death. Yet many of them had an incredible, unshakable faith in God, believing that God was with them through all things, even unto death. Somehow, it seems, they were even able to rejoice in times of great trial and suffering.
During these times, it is easy for us to get caught up in feelings of fear, exhaustion, separateness, isolation, and doubt. When we notice ourselves lost in these feelings, we must attempt to take a step back and see if it is possible for us to find God in our midst. This is not easy, and we need help from one another.
Take what time you can for self-care. Do the things that nourish you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Take care not to let your self-talk spiral down into fear and negativity. If it works for you, you might try saying a simple prayer throughout the day, such as “You are here with me.” As difficult as it is during these times, we can view this as an opportunity for us to practice trusting God. All of life, it seems, is always offering us opportunities to practice and grow in many different ways. Now is a time for us to practice trust, patience, grace, and compassion for ourselves and our neighbors. What else might you practice in the coming days and weeks?
Prayer for our community
Loving God, we pray for the whole world as it deals with this virus, especially for those who have become infected, for the overwhelmed doctors, nurses, and essential workers. We also pray for those who have lost their jobs and who are unable to meet their needs. We also pray for those who are lonely and isolated during this time. Loving God, be with all of them. Give them hope and strength.
At the same time, Holy God, we are grateful that some of us are getting the opportunity to rest, and to spend more time with our families. May we become more aware of your Presence, now and in all the rest of our days. Please bring healing to the world quickly. Amen.