Life is hard! We don’t need any reminders as we seek to resume life following the COVID-19 pandemic. Missed family - especially those grandkids. Missed community events, including weekly church services, cancelled trips, wedding celebrations, delayed surgeries … the list is long.
So, where do we turn for hope? Where do we go in times of trouble?
I think we find the answer in today’s readings. In 2 Kings, we have Elisha ‘the man of God’ being asked to help an important general, Naaman, under the king of Aram. Naturally, he expected the prophet to meet him personally and call on God for a cure. Instead, he was instructed to go wash in the river Jordan seven times! It says he lost his temper and almost refused until his servants suggested he would have nothing to lose by trying. So he followed the orders of the ‘Holy Man’ and was completely cured. But more than that, he believed in the God of Israel who heals and went home worshiping the one true God.
In Acts, we see Paul, who experienced his spiritual epiphany on the road to Damascus, but came under attack in Ephesus from radicals from within his own Jewish tradition. How did he respond? He testified to God’s call on his life and the mentorship of Ananias (a fellow Jew ‘with a sterling reputation in observing the laws’). Then ‘he prayed in the Temple, lost in the presence of God.’ This is where he received his commission to be a witness to the non-Jews, so we have the gospel today.
Finally, in our Psalm, we have a lament over the sacking of Jerusalem, including the destruction of the Temple. So, what to do? Call out to Yahweh to ‘pull us out of this mess, forgive us our sins’ and ‘then we, your people, the ones you love and care for, will thank you over and over. We’ll tell everyone we meet how wonderful you are, how praiseworthy you are!”
May that be our response today as we draw our strength from our heavenly father.
HR guy at Ambrose University and mentor to many young men