Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
It boggles my mind that it was just one week ago when we began to put into action an unprecedented response to something we were learning about, the coronavirus. I struggled with the thought of asking people not to gather for worship. How would we find our way as a community of faith? Where would we go for spiritual and physical support? What if the church faded from the congregation's heart, and people stopped supporting the vital ministries of Jesus Christ at Wesley Park? While I understood the need to protect one another, I had some anxiety-filled dreams last week. These are distressing days.
All three readings today seem to speak to people who are in distress. In Psalm 81, the people call out to God in distress, but they do not listen to what God has to say in reply. Jeremiah confronts the people who abandoned God when times got difficult and instead started to worship other gods. And, in John, some feel threatened by Jesus, doubt he is the Messiah, and vow to take his life.
Consider the image from Jeremiah 2:13. "For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water."
When times are challenging, and we thirst for healing and hope, we need the Living Water. Our faith becomes the source of our strength. And, we need containers that can hold the water we need to survive.
In the weeks ahead, we will focus on the stories of the Wesley Park staff. Eric Terry, Jane Ellen Johnson, Sara Kropp, Nolan Warner, and Marie Cribari are not only incredible people but also help us to carry the Living Water. They are all at work, helping us to stay hydrated. Some things they are doing are obvious. Others are much quieter. They are committed to helping us all through this distressing time.
Please keep the staff in your prayers. Do all you can to stay connected as a church. Use this time in prayer and study. We are literally in the wilderness of Lent. How are you remaining open to the Living Water? How can you help to support those who are working to make sure our cisterns are sound?