Life is presenting us with an unprecedented amount of news, emotional and economic disruption, distraction, and personal responsibility for the wellness of others. It is overwhelming and normal to seek out guidance for the possibilities of the future.
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! (IS 7: 10-11)
In this passage, Isaiah shares that a sign would be God in human form, to be named, “Emmanuel, God is with us.” It was not a hoarding of wealth, it was not ignorance of the world’s problems, it was not the promise that bad things would not happen, but the declaration that God is with you.
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.” (Psalms 40: 6-8)
This Psalms shows us what is possible when we’re overwhelmed and our known ways of being in the world are not accessible. Christ’s arrival marked a transition from the known sacrifices that allowed one to connect with God to a direct connection to God through Christ’s presence. This new connection required new ways of engaging in ceremony and ritual, new ways of being in community, and moving forward with a, “yes,” not knowing the outcome.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.(Hebrews 10: 8-10)
Christ’s offering ensures that God is with us in the midst of our confusion and frustration. In the Gospel, Mary did not refrain from questioning the angel Gabriel about the expectations of her from God in her contextual reality. She did not seek to be the Mother of Christ, and yet when the announcement came that she was to be with child, she ultimately said yes. Our responsibility is to wrestle with our contextual reality, seek the voice of God, and decide how to move forward. I encourage you to find moments of silence and listen to what your inner self and Spirit are telling you. While maintaining physical distancing, enjoy time outside with your available senses and look for ways to connect with your mind, spirit, and body.
What ways are you feeling drawn to connect with others and share your talents? In what ways can you help others?
Please know that in this time, you are not alone. The scripture makes it clear during times of uncertainty, the presence of God follows with a promise of restoration. Practice proper hygiene for your physical, mental, and spiritual health. You’ve got this, we’ve got this, and God is with us.
Amber Larkin, Temporary Campus Minister for Social Justice