I pray that this finds you healthy and hanging in there. The life we once knew shifts daily with new information and further restrictions as we all grapple with the realities of the COVID-19 virus. We are experiencing a time of communal loss. People are dying, the financial impact, especially on those marginalized or already living on the economic edge, is devastating, and social isolation takes its toll on our bodies, minds, and spirits. Personal and collective grief is all around us. I hear accounts of lost motivation, inability to concentrate, insomnia, and the sense of not being able to accomplish anything. Friends are frustrated with how little they are able to do. Introverts are anxious with no time alone with kids and spouses at home, and extroverts are anxious without physical interaction out in the world. People are lonely. We can't attend family weddings, or sit with a sick friend, or even join those we love to say goodbye at a friend's funeral. And it hurts.
All of the feels are now big ones. One way we can acknowledge this is through lament. Lament is not a failure of faith, but an act of faith. When suffering is so big, we can't make sense of it. It lacks meaning. Like the ancient psalm writers, we cry out to God.
Awake! Why are you asleep, O Lord?
Arise! Cast us not off forever!
Why do you hide your face,
forgetting our woe and our oppression?
For our souls are bowed down to the dust,
our bodies are pressed to the earth. (Psalm 44:24-26)
As much as it might feel like it right now, God is not asleep. This pandemic is a terrible, terrible thing but God does not forget our woe. God's light and love still shines bright. It is seen in the medical care providers risking their own lives for others. Essential personnel are on the job providing services we usually take for granted. Neighbors check in to bring food and medicine to those most vulnerable. We are all called to be gentle with each other. Let's not forget or gloss over what we have already lost and still stand to lose. It helps to name it. So please talk to me. Talk to each other. And talk to God.
As we move forward in creative ways to be church together (in spirit!), there are many virtual options for Palm Sunday
and Holy Week
services. They are listed on holyfaithinglewood.org
, and we will continue to add more. Stay in touch
on our Holy Faith community Facebook
page to see what friends are up to.
Folks around the country are invited to hang any kind of greenery
on their front door to celebrate Palm Sunday. You can also find a palm frond
to color and cut out here
. Download it, have your kids (or you!) color one for each family member. Then take a photo or video of the family waving your palms, shouting, "Hosanna!"
as the crowd in Jesus's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. Post it on our community page
for some fun. Even in our #holydistancing
, we can remain close. You are in my prayers and on my heart.
Be well and blessings,