Sunday’s psalm begins with a call to song: “Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” As Italy is on lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus, people have taken to opening their windows and singing to the heavens and hearers wherever open ears may be. “O that today you would listen to God’s voice.”
But the psalmist knows that people have hardened hearts and cites places and circumstances where people who wander the wilderness tested God, even though they “had seen God’s work.”
Skeptics abound. Even though evidence of God’s presence and healing work in the world is everywhere around us; even in this time of pandemic and uncertainty and fear, still God is known and seen and experienced. This morning as United Methodist Churches were called to meet in a different way, not in the assembly of the congregation, but as people of the screen, pastors from all across Methodism were preaching and teaching and praying to a community beyond the pew. Today we were truly a Virtual Church. God was in every place and every pixal and the song sang out.
God does not need to prove God’s self to us. God is here. The open heart, open mind, open ear and eye know and see God with us. God is with us in caregivers and nurses, doctors and scientists working around the clock to tend the sick; God’s healing work is going on in may places through many people around the world. Thank God!
Trusting God is a call of the Lenten Journey. Has there ever been a time before this that we have known such vulnerability and such utter inability to fight a scary enemy all by ourselves? The hardened heart will not bring us to healing. The skeptic “shall not enter God’s rest.” God’s peace only comes when we put our trust and our times in God’s hand.
We do not know how long this virus, or the next one to come will change our days, rob our freedoms, disturb our sleep, and keep us distanced from one another. Perhaps this is a time to practice the disciplines of silence and solitude, entering extended times of prayer. Who knows where this will end? What we do know is the One with whom we journey and we know the end of this story: Resurrection. Travel well, friends. Stay safe and be at peace. God is with us.