St. Paul at sunrise – image credit

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 62:5-8

Without a doubt, the circumstances of a global pandemic have conspired to make this Lenten season one to remember. Updates are issued almost by the hour and it’s hard not to feel oppressed by the weight and uncertainty of it all. With all this chaos swirling about, I suspect I’m not alone in feeling cut loose from a secure mooring.

But the historical lenten story is meant to lead us somewhere in particular, not just into the wilderness and then back out again. We are being drawn back to God, the source of all goodness. The hard part of this journey though, and the part I find myself longing to avoid, is that it has to come to the cross. This year, that we have to experience death in this way seems particularly cruel.

But, there’s another but. The Easter story doesn’t end on the cross, of course, and the journey we’re on doesn’t end there either. The God, who is our rock and salvation, cannot not be stopped by death, let alone stay-at-home orders, or rising infection rates, or economic deflation. God has not and will never lose faith in us. So, let’s pour out all the woes and worries from our hearts. The God of refuge offers us new life in return.

Pastor Peter looks forward to having this crowd around again.

Though it appears we’ll be celebrating holy week in our own living rooms this year, my hope is that God’s story holds no less import.  I’m grateful for my colleagues who are working so hard making sure we remain connected as a community of faith and continue to tell this story.  I hope you are as proud of their efforts as I am.  It is a privilege to work at their sides.

Know that my prayers are with you and that I am so greatly lifted up by yours.  Bound in a common baptismal promise, it is with a sure and certain hope that we can await the new life that is to come.

Peace be with you this day and in the days ahead.

-Pastor Peter