Across the Pastor’s Desk: Trusting God amid the pandemic
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Henry Doyle
“Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ But Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
Very few human beings choose to suffer, but many do suffer and eventually benefit in some way from the agony and pain. In the birthing room, the woman might have immense difficulty delivering the child in her womb. After the delivery and after holding her healthy, newborn baby in her arms, the woman feels much elation and expresses thanks to God, our maker, for her child.
The apostle Peter wanted Jesus not to suffer. However, Jesus knew he would have to suffer death to take away our sin and reconcile us to God. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus brought us human beings into union with God.
For many months, all humanity has suffered because of COVID-19’s grip throughout the world. Contrary to widespread reports of its end, the virus still prevails and causes some to become seriously ill and others to die.
Everyone needs to remember, “We are all in this together.”
We care for and about one another; we respect the dignity of every human being. We behave selflessly. As Christians, we trust in God and implore God to strengthen us to endure and adhere to the guidelines which promote healthy, safe living. We believe God will end this pandemic; God will bring forth good out of this crisis.
Let us pray.
Almighty and immortal God, healer of the sick and source of all knowledge: We implore your mercy for your servant afflicted by the COVID-19 virus, that, by your blessing upon them and upon those who minister to them with your healing gifts, they may be restored to healthy of body and mind, according to your gracious will; for those who have died, that you may receive them into the arms of your mercy; and that, by your leading, the scientists and physicians may find a cure and a vaccine which will protect all people, that it be available to all people, and that all take advantage of it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rev. Henry L. Doyle is the priest-in-charge at Christ Episcopal Church in Albert Lea.