After 2+ years of pandemic, it finally begins to feel like life is returning to normal. Yet, with that shift, we have heard many words of anxiety. Some are personal:

“How will I dig myself out of this financial hole caused by COVID?” “How will I keep my loved one safe?” “How do I rejuvenate my soul after being so tired for so long?”

Others are about our Central Union community:

“How will we know when we can stop wearing masks?” “Will our fellow churchgoers return to worship with us or have they moved on?” “When will we hire a settled senior minister?” “How can we sort out our finances so that we can continue or even expand our church’s ministry?”

Friends, our questions and worries will never end. They are a part of the human experience. Yet our faith teaches us that we do not have to carry our fears alone. Our God comes alongside us to help ease the burden, protecting us and bringing us peace. The scriptures tell us that God makes us this promise:

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3a)

Today, I share a prayer by Walter Brueggemann with you. This prayer has comforted my own heart, reminding me that God is so much bigger than my worries. May it bring you peace.

“You” beyond Our “Weary Selves”

You God, Lord and Sovereign,
you God, lover and partner.
You are God of all our possibilities.
You preside over all our comings and goings,
all our wealth and all our poverty,
all our sickness and all our health,
all our despair and all our hope,
all our living and all our dying.
And we are grateful.

You are God of all our impossibilities.
You have presided over the emancipations
and healings of our mothers and fathers;
you have presided over the wondrous transformations in our own lives.
You have and will preside over those parts of our lives that
we imagine to be closed.
And we are grateful.

So be your true self, enacting the things impossible for us,
that we might yet be the whole among the blind who see and
the dead who are raised;
that we may yet witness your will for peace,
your vision for justice,
your vetoing all our killing fields.

At the outset of this day,
we place our lives in your strong hands.
Before the end of this day,
do newness among us in the very places where
we are tired in fear,
we are exhausted in guilt,
we are spent in anxiety.

Make all things new, we pray in the new-making name of Jesus.