Life is scary right now. There’s CoVID, and the multitude of actions and reactions growing out of trying to deal with it. Plus political and international issues. And the everyday issues of trying to live our lives.
But then again, life has always been sort of scary. Our pioneer ancestors likely had more basic fears – can we grow enough food to keep the family from starving? Or will there be a drought, or a flood, or an invasion of grasshoppers? Or maybe we’ll all get eaten by a bear?
There were fears in Jesus’ day, too. Neither the Roman government nor the Jewish Pharisees were very tolerant of non-compliance. And that’s exactly what God sent Jesus to do on His way to saving us – not comply with man’s rules when they conflicted with God’s directives and to tell everyone why.
CoVID in our midst
So, let’s get back to CoVID, the great issue and great fear of our day. There is no denying that there is something in our midst; something that infects some and they don’t even know it, yet others who are infected die. And “the science” keeps changing. Is it natural or manmade? Do various treatments and vaccines help or hurt? Is this going to be the end of the world as we know (knew) it??
Real answers to these questions just don’t exist. And not knowing is scary. We each have to do what we can, with what we know and believe at any given time. And continue to live our lives as free of fear as we can.
Here at Prince of Peace, we are meeting in person for worship and other activities. But… we continue to ask anyone who doesn’t feel well to please stay home. To respect our neighbors by maintaining social distance, and by masking if it makes the other party more comfortable. And continuing to offer alternatives to gathering in the church building. Our Sunday morning services are live-streamed on Facebook. If someone wants to be here, yet is more comfortable remaining in their own vehicle, we will facilitate their participation in worship from the parking lot. And, most importantly of all, we remind each other that God is always with us, helping us through whatever life deals us.
No need for division against our brothers, nor ourselves
Each of us can also resist the forces trying to divide us. It often seems like the masked hate the unmasked, and vice-versa. And we are being led to believe that the “vaccine” will save us all, if we can just get all those hesitant ones to get vaccinated. But some of them think the vaccinated are the main ones spreading the virus and contributing to variants and keeping the pandemic going. Yet as Christians, we are to “explain everything in the kindest way” [Luther’s Small Catechism]. Here is a discussion by a Lutheran pastor on the appropriate response to those whose choices differ from your own:
And we can remember to extend that kindness to ourselves, too. Bad things will continue to happen to us, with or without this pandemic. It would be easy to be guilt-ridden with “I chose not to be vaccinated and now I’m really sick and likely to die and not be able to continue caring for my family”, or any other variant thereof when things don’t go as you’d hoped. Just stop that! Whatever choices you make about a potentially bad situation, whether for yourself or a loved one, were your considered choice at that time, with what you knew then. Don’t beat yourself up for not being omnipotent.
God is with us always
If you were around for September 11, 2001, you’ve known scary times before. For a period there were no real answers, and people were being divided. What there was, was plenty of grief and fear. It was in response to this that Stephen Starke wrote the hymn “There is a Time for Everything” (#762 in the Lutheran Service Book), reminding us that God is present with us at all times. We need that reminder today. We’ll close with just a couple lines:
[You] fathom all life’s tragedies; You know our grief, You hear our sighs—In mercy, dry our tear-stained eyes.
You can hear the whole hymn here: