“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NRSV)
In the midst of a crisis, there is a strong human tendency to ask questions like: Why is this happening? Or, why is God allowing this to happen? I do not know. That is simply not how I think about it.
For me, as a Christian, there is a much more helpful question: Where is God? When people are sick and some are dying because of a new virus, where is God? When the world shuts down and we are told to stay home, where is God? When children cannot get the meals they usually get at school, where is God? When seniors have to eat alone in their rooms rather than join neighbors and friends in the dining room, where is God? When schedules are disrupted and families are separated, where is God? When a friend has contracted the virus, where is God?
The good news of the gospel is that God is in all these places. God came to earth in the person of Jesus to show us the depth and breadth of God’s love. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus’ last words are, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
God-with-us in this crisis means that God is working through health care providers, research scientists, and public officials to defeat this virus so that we can be healthy and our world can reopen. God is with us as we work to adapt to staying home. God is working through school personnel to ensure that children and families can drive by to pick up the food they need. God is with individuals of all ages when they are alone—experienced perhaps in a moment of quiet calm, in the splendor of a sunset glimpsed through a window, in the reading of a hope-filled scripture, in a phone call from a friend, in the profound feeling of being embraced by prayer. When our lives are different than planned, God is present to help us “make lemonade,” to find peace and even joy in unexpected places. When a child of God is sick, God can be found working through doctors, nurses, aides, family members and others to bring hope and healing to that person.
Rev. Dr. Sharon Harris-Ewing
God: We know that wherever we are, however we feel, whatever challenges we face, you are here with us. Thank you. Open our hearts and minds to be uplifted by your love and guided by your wisdom. Amen.