Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
As I have been reflecting on the scriptures for today, I can’t help but think that they are perfect for where we are at this moment in our country and the world. I am sure many a prayer has risen to heaven to end the Covid virus or prayers for family and friends who have contracted the virus. Prayers for the healthcare workers and first responders. Prayers for protection. Prayers to get through home schooling children and many countless prayers for many other things.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is another example of how the scriptures give us what we need when we need it. He gives us the instruments to help get us through the strain of a pandemic. The uncertainty of the election and the change that seems to be occurring as our eyes are forced open to look at racism and inequality at the local, state and national levels. With his analogy of a soldier going to war, Paul tells us to put on “armor of God”, “gird our loins with truth”; “clothe ourselves with the breastplate of righteousness”; “hold faith as a shield”; “take the helmet of salvation”; “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. Let’s look at these words that I have italicized: God, truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, and word of God. For me faith and the word of God stood out to the most. The scriptures have always been important to me and now all the more since March. My faith has grown into a deeper trust that God has my back if I trust in him. I had to dig deep to find the faith to go back to teaching on campus not knowing if I would catch the Covid virus. Our school has done an outstanding job of making it as safe as possible and I was very anxious the first couple of weeks. So far, so good. I know that I belong there to show the students and to support my colleagues that what we are doing is an important witness to the students that it is possible with adaptations to how we do school. We also have a very cooperative student body that also makes this possible. Whether it is conscious or unconscious we have all put on the armor of God and acted in faith and trust acting in hope and not fear.
How will I put on the armor of God today?
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus also acts with the armor of God. He trusts in the Father’s will for him and continues his journey to Jerusalem where he knows his end will be. He makes a prophetic statement to the Pharisees who have come to warn him, “Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. While Jesus knew his purpose, we do not. We hope and believe that we are doing what God has asked of us for today. That is all that is asked of us. To trust in God. To search our hearts and listen deeply for God’s peace and love as we make our way through these tough days. Remember, there is a Resurrection. Remember, the Resurrection is about new life. Peace to you and your families as we make our way in faith and trust in God.
How can I focus on the Resurrection as I make my way through these hard days?
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.