Message from Rev. Grace (Mar. 25, 2020)

Created: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father Almighty and from our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

Hello, my sisters and brothers. I trust you and yours continue to remain safe and well. I cannot express how much you are missed and loved but how often you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I commend our scripture readings for this week:

And as was stated recently, “they are lengthy,” but are indeed food for the soul as we continue on the journey during this season of Lent. They are edifying in that we are keenly reminded that the “antidote for despair and suffering is the resurrection of Jesus” (Rev. Dr. Derrick McQueen, St. James Presbyterian Church, Harlem).

As viewed through this lens, each passage speaks to the breath of God bringing us to and through the troubles we face. This Lenten journey is unlike any that we have ever seen or experienced before, but God is with us. Our John’s Gospel even contains the verse that everyone knows as the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35: “Jesus wept.” But if we look closely, his despair was for the whole of humanity, as he was making his way to the cross in Jerusalem to die for us all...He weeps, but he prayed, knowing that our Father hears and answers...

Social distancing is new to our existence, but spiritual connectedness is not. Jesus taught us how to pray, saying, “give us this day our daily bread.” Each of our texts this week reminds us to refresh on the bread of life. “Breathe on me, breath of God, fill me with life anew.” And we are called to share it one with another.

Yes, there are and will be moments. Both Mary and Martha were not too happy in their grief and were surrounded by friends and loved ones who were grumbling and mumbling, “if you had only been here.” Yes, there are and will be moments when it would seem that the “should have, could have, would have” counsel of the throngs can overwhelm us and the cabin fever of “self-quarantining” have the walls closing in on us, but we can call on Jesus. There’s no shame to picking up the phone and saying, “I’m having a moment.”

Praying with someone can reboot a moment, like turning a black-and-white filmstrip into a high-definition color movie in an instant.

The “oldie but goodie” hymns of the church are flooding our souls like springs in the desert, such as the soothing voice of Elder Emma coming over Facebook singing, “I surrender all.”

As we continue with cautious distancing for however long it lasts, we are spiritually connected singing, praying, and rejoicing knowing that “It is well, with my soul."

Lean in - and lean on - my brothers and sisters. Lean on the the everlasting arms of faith. God is with us.

Peace and love,
Rev. Grace