Matthew 11:16-19; 25-30 (NRSV)
16"But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 17'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.' 18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
25At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
As I write, we are into the second month of the Covid-19 pandemic orders: staying-at-home, social distancing at six feet.
Our Georgia neighbor suggested we bring a chair and a drink, and form a circle in her yard Friday evening. The Friday Circle has become a gathering of six to eight friends getting to know one another, sharing life stories, laughter, and tears. One night a friend told us his girlfriend’s mother had just died at one of our local nursing homes. It was a sorrowful story of loss, with distance and no closure.
As a brilliant red sunset began to form, our neighbor asked if I would lead a prayer. We closed our circle by standing, arms outstretched, thanking God for the resurrection gift of Easter—and praying for God’s promise to never leave us. We prayed with confident trust, believing that God would bring us peace and hope.
Holy Spirit, come. In our sorrow, in our loss, bring us your peace, your rest. Amen.