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by Rev. Javier Olivares, West District Superintendent

A Prayer to Love the World Again

 

God of heroes and heartbreak,
teach us to love the world again.
Teach us to love extravagantly
knowing it may
(it will) break our hearts
and teach us that it is worth it.

 

God of pandemics and suffering ones,
teach us to love the world again.

 

God of loneliness and longing,
of bushfires and wilderness,
of soup kitchens and border towns,
of snowfall and children,
teach us to love the world again.

 

Amen.

 

– Sarah Bessey

I remember my son’s reaction at the doctor’s examination room, when the cast was removed from his leg after months of being immobilized, it was heartbreaking. He flung his arms around my neck holding on for his life as if I was his only anchor. It was a strange sensation for him. The doctor did explain to us that this reaction was normal since our son had not use his leg for months, his muscles would feel different since they were not used in a while.

And that is true with other muscles in our bodies. When we do not use them for a while, they become weak, they lose their endurance. I read somewhere that it only takes two weeks for young people to lose a third of their muscular strength from not using them.

I think about the pandemic, yes, that word again which we hear constantly. Perhaps you want a break of hearing that word, but please bear with me. I think about how hard it has been for many of our congregations and pastors. I think about the isolation it has brought and the anxiety aura we have had to learn to live with.

Many churches though, have been resilient with a steady walk against a strong wind of challenges. And yet I think there are some “muscles” that all of us have not used during this pandemic. Perhaps it is laughter, fellowship, among many others.

In Sarah Bessey’s prayer she mentions “teach us to love the world again.” We certainly will come out of this pandemic (when we do) to a different world. However, I think that it is also during this time when God is calling us to love the world again. To use those “muscles” we have not used in a while because now we are in a different context, a different world and many are longing for God’s love here and now. Are you ready to cling onto God’s neck, (because you know God has your back! God is holding you) and begin loving the world again? Are you ready to let laughter fill those spaces of despair? Are you willing to be agents of peace and compassion in this world of resentment and indifference?

May it be so.

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