Maybe it is an illusion, perhaps a response to fatigue, but the number of questions that seem to demand answers is increasing geometrically. As the approach of fall brings a new school year, a new season of learning in the church, and a thousand other “new” things marinated in the odyssey known as the pandemic, every moment demands answers and spawns more questions. Speaking as one who is supposed to know stuff and provide answers, I am going to make a confession – and I don’t think I’m alone. I don’t know. I don’t know how to keep everyone safe, nor how to keep folks satisfied and connected to a congregation that is still mostly scattered. I don’t know when this will end, nor how the weeks and months ahead will unfold. I don’t know.
The Book of Revelation is a source of much conversation and speculation. Its wild images and often terrifying beasts and battles can make it hard to find hope, love, or grace in its pages. Martin Luther found the whole of John’s Apocalypse to be so unhelpful to faith that he thought it should be plucked from the canon of scripture.
I have been thinking this week about the Lord’s Prayer. Besides praying it, I have been contemplating what it means to pray, “God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven." Many challenges are interrupting the peaceful loving world we all desire.
The latest developments in our year-and-a-half dance with the Covid-19 virus are less than encouraging. Enter the Delta variant, and the world is again on shifting sand – everyday! It seems like a wet blanket is draped over our lives. If you are anything like me, you are tired, you are uncertain, you are grieving what might have been and what could be. It is all just too much. I don’t think that I am being over-the-top when I call this pall, this clinging cloak, despair.