In the Midst

Last week our grocery store started limiting the number of people who could go in at one time. One in one out, is the new rule.

This week we were asked to start shopping in two week stints to limit the amount of exposure each of us have to the public, as cases of the Covid-19 mount across the state. I could feel the fear as I was shopping yesterday. One man yelled at me when I pulled down my face mask for a moment to defog my glasses.

In the midst of our world falling apart around us by bits and pieces, I have been “attending” an on-line retreat regarding the sorrows of Passion Week. Today our leader in the retreat wrote this:

“Where is our hope? Our hope is in a God who died publicly humiliated outside the walls of a minor city in a great empire. This God is not a God for winners, not a God who makes us great again. We believe in a God who throws the rich from their thrones and lifts up the lowly. Our God dies daily, alongside the poor, the outcast, the immigrant child, the fearful and victimized, the one who dies alone. Our hope is in a God who chooses humility, a God who bows deeply, who suffers with us, even unto death. A God who dies daily alongside those in this plague, who knows the fear of those who serve others in this pandemic, who knows the avoidance of those who would rather go back to sleep.” Almut Furchert

I am struck by the phrase, “Our hope is in a God who chooses humility, a God who bows deeply,”

When, besides the cross, in all of the worlds religions did a god choose humility? IN the cross God bowed low!!!!

For me this time has been a very humbling experience. I got sick at the beginning of the shut- in and my voice has not yet returned (I am thanking God that this sickness was not as serious as it could have been). I have not led worship in something like seven weeks. This has been one of my lamentations during this season. It felt like a loss ( not so much the loss of worship but of my voice), but God has showed me that this is the moment I have prayed for. In my inability, younger men have stepped to the plate and worship has gone on, and there is actually a liberation in that!

The whole church is being humbled as we approach this Easter weekend. We are being forced to do away with the pomp and circumstance which generally go with this season. We are being forced to return to the simplicity of the cross: no frills, no stirring music or acting, no lights or crowds, just a naked Savior hanging, dying on a cross. Perhaps in the midst of our world falling apart this will be one of the most powerful Easters the church has experienced in many years simply because we cannot make it about us or our attempts at personal kingdom building. It must be completely about Jesus.

God is changing me through this experience. He is moving me ,in the midst of it, into the new place He has been promising to being me. He is accomplishing His prophesied move in our church at Cornerstone and He is fulfilling His prophesied word in the church world- wide. The church is being humbled. As the crucifixion of Christ was God’s plan to bring about Christ’s Resurrection then, this crucifixion we are experiencing has a resurrection attached to it as well. Hold onto that.

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