I just finished reading N.T. Wright’s book, God and the Pandemic. N. T. Wright asks us to lament what has happened to us this year. The Psalms are full of prayers of lamentation. We can talk about signs of the end of the age, but N.T. Wright tells us that Christians have faced pandemics before. We can blame God, but N.T. Wright tells us in the Gospel that Jesus comes to us in our suffering. Maybe we don’t understand why we have pandemics, but we can use the example of Christ to see what to do in a pandemic. He suggests that Christians have always taken care of one another in pandemics while many have just opted out. A good start is to pray for those who are lonely, sick, anxious, and suffering. In fact, please pray for all of us.
In today’s Gospel, the disciples are struggling in their boat because of a storm. They attempt to cross the Sea of Galilee without Jesus, who is praying on a mountain. Jesus comes to the disciples and they fear that it is a ghost. Jesus says, “It is I.” Jesus identifies himself as the Son of God. Matthew asks us to believe that God comes into the boat with us as we struggle through the wind and waves. This past week, five full-sized oak trees fell across streets and on houses in my neighborhood. It was amazing to see the power of the wind and the damage that it caused. We were without power and wi-fi for an extended period of time. As I walked through the village this week, I wondered if any of the new businesses would make it through this pandemic. Parents and teachers wonder if school will be virtual or in person this fall and what affect that will have on their children's education. Democrats and Republicans wrestle with aid packages and how they will be perceived by the voters. People all over our nation are dying alone and being buried without a proper funeral. Black Lives Matter protesters try to get the attention of our nation in order to get racial reconciliation. Let’s face it; we are all in a storm. We need God and we need one another.
Jesus Christ teaches us to care for the sick, feed the hungry, cloth the naked and give Living Water to the thirsty. At St. John’s we will continue to collect food every day for the Long Island Cares Food Pantry, pray each morning together at 9AM, give assistance to those in trouble with rent assistance, offer inexpensive clothing at our yard sales on Saturdays, commit to racial reconciliation and justice, study the bible on Monday nights and Tuesday mornings, gather with Hilda’s Guild, study in EfM, draw closer to Christ through the Spirituality Group, give benefit concerts on Sundays at 11:30, sing praise to the Lord through Alex and our choir, and worship on Sundays at 8 & 10 on zoom and in the Garden of Blessings at 8:00.
In Christ’s love,
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