In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage communities and families around the globe, it can be perplexing to consider how to approach the coming season of gratitude and celebration.
Usually, this is a time of gathering, of joy, of turkeys roasting and pumpkin pies baking, but this year will be different. Many of us will not be able to gather with friends and extended family. Some may even be spending the holidays alone. Others will be sick, or mourning the loss of a loved one whose life has been taken by the pandemic, or struggling under the strain of an uncertain economy.
There is nothing I can say to make it disappear. There is no magic word or spiritual practice that can end the suffering this pandemic has brought. And so I find myself reaching deeper into the wisdom of Scripture which bears witness to God who holds us in the midst of troubling times.
Psalm 90 reminds us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart. Like those who have gone before us, perhaps you find yourself crying along with the Psalmist, “Turn, O Lord! How long? Have compassion on your servants!”
The psalm tells us that though we all return to dust, in the morning comes renewal. In the midst of the struggles, traumas, and difficulties so many are tending, God’s steadfastness is sure.
Perhaps our usual litany of gratitude will be smaller this year, more basic: for community, for faith, for another day in which to put one foot in front of the other. The Psalmist teaches us to face our frailty in the sure trust and confidence that God “is our dwelling place in all generations.”
That is a promise we can all count on.
Strength and peace,
Robin J. Steinke, President