Today's Lectionary Text
How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever?
Look at me!
But I have trusted in your faithful love.
I find certain verses speak to me at specific times of life. There are some I’m always drawn to: Matthew 5, Micah 6:8 and Isaiah 65, because they’re central to how I want my ministry to be lived out. There are others I remember at certain times of the years or associate with certain people or times in my life.
Psalm 13 has been one which I’ve continually come back to over the last two years. When lockdowns and the pandemic began, I felt the psalmists lament, “How long O God? How long?” I naively thought a long time would be a couple weeks. It was not. I then thought it would be a couple months. Of course, selfishly it would be just enough time for me to have my graduation from seminary in person. It was not. It seemed as often as we cried out to God, “How long must we wait to return to ‘normal’?”, the answer was always, “It’s going to be awhile.” I felt frustrated a lot of the time and unsure as to how I could remain hopeful in this time of great despair. It felt unfair to see church members pass away and congregations unable to gather and grieve. Our basic human desire to sit with individuals and just be near them was lost and we couldn’t do what we longed to do. And it’s been almost two years now, and the brokenness of the past 20 months remains.
Yet as the psalmist shows there is pain and there is hardship but there is also cause for us to celebrate. To celebrate the new ways, we have done ministry in the past year, from Facebook lives, to sending physical letters once again. To calling members on the phone or waving to friends through a window. It is those moments where we show kindness to others, we show the reminder that God is with us and works through other people as well. We see the likeness of God through the compassion of others and through the generosity we share. So, whether today your prayer is one of lament or whether it is praise, may you share it with others in your community and may you experience God’s presence.
Pastoral Intern, First United Methodist Omaha
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, you our present with us in our times of lament and joy. May our communities show your love in both times of celebration and hardship. Together we pray. Amen.
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