March 27, 2020

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

In these days as we live from news bulletin to news bulletin, and press conference to press conference, life is exhausting and confusing at best.  I found this quote from Isaiah that gave me heart.  We may not have all the information needed.  We may not know whether our sore throat is the Coronavirus or allergy.  We do know that God tells us again and again…do not be afraid…do not be dismayed.  Having met with officials of the World Health Organization and the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, I am mightily assured that the world is at work with good minds and generous hearts to understand this new virus and find cures, treatments and global understanding.

What amazes me is that this pandemic is teaching us that we are very much connected.  That our world is tightly knit together.  Our decisions here affect the world – it’s people and it’s climate.

As we Riversiders are “preparing the ground” during this Lenten season, may we be attentive to the world God has given us.  May we not be afraid or dismayed but seize the ground of our being – God’s steadfast love for all creation and God’s steadfast presence with us – and with hope, embrace God’s love and in turn embrace our neighbors in Christ Love…yes, even the birds, trees, streams and oceans…

Pray with me: Gracious and Loving God, we give you thanks for the many wondrous ways you show us your love, most particularly in the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.  We give you thanks for your steadfast faithfulness to us.  Help us as we tend to preparing ourselves to receive your love again and again…Help us as we work toward preparing the ground in our communities so that they become centers of your love in the midst of anxiety and fear.  Help us to be supportive of each other as we are preparing the ground in our communities and with our neighbors to survive this unknown virus.  Help us as we prepare the ground of the good wisdom given by you to resolve issues in these days and return to your hope…Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Carol DiGiusto

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