I’ve been pondering something a friend said recently: “You know, as far as global pandemics go, this one was really short.” Short? Really?
We’re aware, of course, that the pandemic is not over. Variants continue to spring up all over the globe, and many countries do not and will not have widespread access to a vaccine for months or even years. We are witnessing injustice from a privileged position.
At the same time, I understand my friend’s assessment. For those who have been fortunate to receive the vaccine, the news keeps getting better. The vaccine has lasting effects and has proven up-to-the-challenge in neutralizing many of the variants. Cases are dramatically reduced. This Sunday, we’re heading back into the sanctuary for worship.
But it’s felt a lot longer than 18 months. Lost loved ones, jobs, homes, opportunities, and celebrations combined with intense loneliness, isolation and fear have made this time feel like years.
Just imagine if you were God’s people enduring the slow demise of their nation and homeland over decades.
This Sunday, we conclude our six-week stay in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah covers roughly 40 years of history. Throughout that time, those who listened to God’s word knew the worst was coming. They lived with the daily anxiety of knowing their homes would be destroyed and they’d be taken away in exile. Yet, as Sunday’s readings remind us, some remained faithful and even hopeful in the promises of God to make all things new.
I haven’t been the model of constant faithfulness and hope during these past 18 months. Many times, I’ve given in to anger, negativity, fear and selfishness. Thanks be to God, God’s promises to love, carry, and provide for us don’t depend upon our constant faithfulness. And, thank you, Jeremiah, for a little perspective.
See you Sunday…