On the road called Via Dolorosa, the way of suffering, Jesus journeyed over the challenging mountain of Golgotha and through the dark valley of death. He experienced isolation from his community (“I do not know him” Luke 22:57), and even with God (“why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46). Even so, on this road of isolation, Jesus held to the vision of the Kin-dom — a hope, a promise, and a grace for all.
Whenever we are faced with a mountain of a challenge, and we wonder if we can really do what is needed to be done, that is when God’s resilient and magnificent creation brings forth an inner strength, a strength which comes through our connection with each other, and the strength which undergirds all, the Spirit of the Almighty God. This is the strength available to us even when we are inconvenienced in our freedom to move about at will, isolating ourselves to keep from spreading the invisible virus. And, isolate we must. This is the strength available to us even when it brings things to a stand-still — like career, ministry, vacation, and school. This is the strength available to us even when it comes at great cost to income and investment.
In this Holy Week, as we are in the midst of a pandemic that is challenging, changing, and churning our lives, we have choices to make about how we respond and which road to take.
- Let us stay on the road of faith in which we look for the Spirit of God moving and let us lean into that direction.
- Let us learn from new ways of being in and doing ministry in these weeks of isolation which will lead to new practices we will want to continue.
- Let us reconnect to the heart and purpose of what worship is and is not. Worship is not about sitting in the familiar sanctuary and pew — it is about connecting and being in relationship with God and learning how Jesus Christ through the Spirit connects us to one another in loving-grace.
- Let us reaffirm what it means to be the church, the Body of Christ. We remember that the church is not a location, it is the action of God’s people bringing hope and life into a world fearful of economic depression and loss of free-will of movement and choice.
Through Jesus Christ, we can see beyond the trials of the day and into a new future — a new life — Easter will never be suspended, but will bring us forth from isolation and into a new day.
We are on this road together!
Praise be to God in Jesus Christ.
To read the North District Lay Leader Phyllis Murray’s article, “Some days ARE very hard,” click here.
To read about the Desert Southwest Conference Emergency Response Hospital Supplies donation, click here.
To read about the Potosi Virtual Event and Camp information, click here.