What a difference a week makes. Reflections 3-16-2020

What a difference a week makes.

A week ago, I was scheduled to be in Coralridge mall at an ice-skating party of Gloria Dei families. Then I was suddenly called away to a life or death family emergency and spent the week with family in a hospital room (mercifully, the crisis passed). By the time I got back here on Friday afternoon, we had moved from “wash-your-hands-often” and “don’t-touch-your-face” (so difficult!) to social-distancing and closing down events. Every few hours the CDC offers more guidelines for the living of these days. The speed of change and the resulting need for speedy decisions has taken my breath away. I feel like I am in a strange, new world.

Yesterday’s reading from Exodus tells the story of Moses striking a rock in the midst of the wilderness. A question had been growing among the weary and anxious, Israelites as they wandered through a barren and unknown landscape: Is the Lord among us or not? To answer that question, God provided a new spring which gave them the relief and courage that they needed to continue. In other words, yes.

I am wandering in a land I do not know. I am already weary of this new way of living and we have just begun that long journey. Is the Lord still among us?

In yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus told the Samaritan woman that the living water he gives becomes a spring of water gushing up within us, promising new life. God offers that living water in our baptism, promising us new life in Christ, sealing us with the Holy Spirit. God is indeed among us.

May you find peace as we travel through this new land together.

Deacon Pam

Here are a couple of suggestions from Bishop Burk for things we can do as we distance ourselves from others.

• Set aside a specific time each day to pray. For some it may be noon. For others it may be first thing in the morning. It does not need to be a time alone. Pray on the phone with others. Your time of prayer can include study of scripture, again with others.

• Care for yourself and those with whom you live. Reach out for help when needed, especially if you are feeling anxious.

• Be at the ready to encourage those who are fearful, and to share the hope that is in you.

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245