It was four months ago today, March 15, that we held our last in-person worship service. That is a mind-boggling statement. The week leading up to that Sunday on the Ides of March felt like the proverbial snowball rolling down the hill, getting bigger and bigger as it went. One after another things began cancelling. Late in the week Bishop Wright gave us permission to cancel or livestream services, if we felt it was necessary. We opted to hold one service, and I think we all knew that it was the last time we would be physically together for a while. By “a while” I meant a couple of weeks. Surely we would be back by Easter. But here we are four months later, and although I hope this isn’t the case, I would not be too surprised if we are still in this situation four months from now.
Recently I came across a prayer by Thomas Merton that I had saved long ago. It was written in 1958, but I think it speaks to our situation today:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end, nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does, in fact, please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.