“So, let us not grow weary in doing what is right…” Galatians 6:9a
While on the run from King Saul, and hiding in the Wilderness of Judah, David wrote these opening words of Psalm 63.
“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land…”
But it’s not just the land that is weary. We too have grown weary. Weary of a contentious election cycle. Weary of cultural divisiveness. Weary of social media posts. Weary of COVID 19 and trying to safely lead a parish through a Global Pandemic. I am particularly weary of trying to find a face covering that keeps my glasses from fogging up. I have not been successful.
So, what is making you weary these days?
Last week, I was on a Conference Call with Governor Mike DeWine. He requested the call, because he wanted to reach out to religious leaders in Ohio to provide an update on the COVID19 pandemic. He is concerned about the rising cases of infection, especially in the rural areas of Ohio. He is concerned about the change of seasons and the cooler weather which is moving us into indoor spaces. He is also concerned that we have grown weary of taking the necessary precautions.
On our call Governor DeWine pointed to three seasons that we have experienced with the COVID 19 virus. The spring season of March and April, when we all worked together to “flatten the curve”. The summer season of June and July, when urban areas were hit particularly hard, and many of us began to wear face coverings. Governor DeWine argues that the use of face coverings lowered the spread of infections in these summer “hot spots”. Now we are in the fall season, and cases are rising in the rural areas of Ohio. Many of these new cases are directly related to large family gatherings, weddings, and in-person worship services. Many of these events are still occurring throughout Ohio without any precautions being taken.
Even when folks take the necessary precautions, the COVID19 virus can find a way. Calvary Lutheran Church in Northwood, Ohio, was recently impacted by the virus and four people were infected. As I talked and prayed with the pastor, he assured me that they worked very hard to take the proper precautions. I am grateful that the four folks who were infected are recovering and gaining their health and strength.
In the Letter to the Galatians, St. Paul reminds us to not grow weary in doing what is right. Dear Friends in Christ, this is not the time to let our guard down and grow weary. Please follow your Parish Plans of Return. Please show some love and grace to your pastors, deacons, and parish leaders, who are trying so very hard to keep you and the community safe. Please do your part as a follower of Jesus to encourage, strengthen, and build up the people around you. So, let us not grow weary of being the people whom God has called us to be.
And at the end of these weary days, I would encourage you to reflect on these words from Jesus:
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).