A God Who Goes With Us
Although these past few weeks have been trying for all Christians around the world, I have found unexpected joys in the midst of this pandemic. For one, last Sunday, it seemed that everyone to whom I brought communion had committed the post-communion prayer to memory. For another, many of you told me that while sheltering in place, you have turned to the reading the Daily Office, and have found it very helpful in this time of distress. This past week in Morning Prayer, we read the story of Moses' forty days on Mount Sinai, speaking with God. While there, the people of Israel turn to idolatry, and the Lord implores Moses, “Let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” (Exodus 32:10 ESV) But Moses will have none of it. First, he asks: Why should the Egyptians be given an occasion to say that the Lord brought the people up out of Egypt only to kill them in the wilderness. He appeals to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and finally, in Chapter 33, Moses tells the people that he might be able to make atonement for their sin. He intercedes on behalf of the people before the Lord, making an argument as to why He should preserve their lives and forgive them. But, the Lord sends a plague upon the people, and then says that He will not be going into the Land of Promise with them. But, Moses intercedes even further, saying “Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:16 ESV) At this prayer, the Lord relents and says that He will do that very thing, going into the land with the people. It is then that the Lord reveals His glory, if only in part, to Moses. This text struck me deeply this week, as I considered the Old Testament in the light of Jesus Christ, who says "I am with you always, even to the close of the age." (Matthew 28:20) What makes God unique is His never-failing presence. Even in the grave, He does not abandon us. And so, as many of us have been sent home this week, and as many others have labored with great courage and heroism, we can take comfort in knowing that God goes with us. As we meet together, but separately, doing our part to love our neighbor and preserve human life in the midst of pandemic, we do so able to be confident that the Lord is with us, and like Moses, constantly interceding before the Father for us. This week again, I'm including what I hope will be some helpful suggestions for Sunday:
Tune in to our live-stream at 10:45 am on Sundays. You'll be able to comment and share prayer requests in real time.
My catechesis class will be live-streamed the night before on our YouTube Channel.
Join us for Morning Prayer via Zoom (Meeting ID is 491-889-487) every weekday at 7:30 am. In the Book of Common Prayer, Morning Prayer starts on Page 11 and the readings for March are found on page 742. You may find this video lesson useful on how to use the Prayer Book to pray Morning Prayer.
Make a gift to Christ Church online or through text. (Details are below)
Have a celebratory breakfast!
Give a neighbor in the parish a phone call.
Go for a walk.
Take a nap.
Get dinner from one of our local restaurants offering curbside and to-go service. Helberg BBQ, Harvest, Milo, Revival, and D's Mediterranean are all great!
Close out the day with Evening Prayer and take time for some family games.
We will consecrate enough hosts on Sundays to make home communions possible for as many as desire this. You can sign up to receive at home and a priest will come to you at a time convenient to you. Sadly, we cannot do this indoors. Please wash your hands and come outside with your prayer boos for this when one of our clergy comes to you. We are currently making plans for what will prove to be a very, very different Holy Week. Please keep us in your prayers as we do so.