Psalm 23. We are in our holy time of Lent. We are also experiencing a dark night of the soul. It is a time of wandering in the wilderness. Wilderness experiences have a way of making us stronger. Throughout the Bible the desert is the place where you meet God. Abraham wanders in the desert places. Moses runs to the wilderness with the Israelites to escape the Egyptians. It’s there that Moses experiences God in the burning bush. It is in the wilderness that Moses is given the 10 Commandments. David fled to the desert to escape Saul where he learned to rely on God. The prophet Elijah fled from his enemies into the deserts and caves. It was there that he heard the gentle whisper of God. Jesus experienced his time in the wilderness being tempted to turn away from God. He trusted God to see him through the wilderness. His wilderness experience made him stronger to face the days ahead. Jesus relied on God in all things. Even when he faced the cross. We are in the wilderness of Covid-19. We can be feeling afraid and anxious. There is so much uncertainty. We don’t need to be afraid. It is in the dark valleys of our lives when God is most present. God is walking with us and will never let us go. He is our refuge and our strength. He refines our faith when we experience the wilderness. Just like the people of faith who came before us we will be stronger because of it.
Tonight we pray for all who are battling Covid-19. We especially remember Elizabeth, Emily,Jax, Billy and everyone in the world who is ill. We ask for your healing presence to surround your creation. Put your arms around all those who are suffering. Let them feel your loving presence which brings comfort and peace. Keep us good Lord under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low, that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love. In Jesus name we offer up all our prayers. Amen