|Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on August 18, 2021 at 3:55 PM|
We seem to be surrounded these days by reminders of the fragility of the human condition. With the on-going pandemic, wildfires out west, and now the frightful news out of both Haiti and Afghanistan, it is tempting to give in to feelings of hopelessness. To borrow from Paul’s language, it can seem as if the “cosmic powers of this present darkness” are holding sway over us, leaving in their wake a trail of chaos, destruction, and death.
It is at times such as this that we do well to remember the resurrection pattern that God has woven into the very fabric of creation. Jesus’ resurrection was more than just a miraculous historical event but was the ultimate manifestation of an all-encompassing truth: that the powers of darkness do not and will not have the final word, no matter how much it may seem otherwise.
One of the great paradoxes of our faith is that within the moments of death and destruction that we encounter on our journey, there are always seeds of new life. This may sound like Pollyannish wishful thinking and denial, but I have found it to be one of the deeply consistent truths of the life of faith – one that is most often discovered with a retrospective look back at life’s journey. In my own experience, the darkest moments of life have paradoxically given rise to some of the fullest experiences of hope and joy.
This is not to say that we should passively accept the presence and activities of the “powers of darkness” in our world. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to confront these powers with grace, love, and compassion. In addition to praying for the people of Haiti and Afghanistan (and perhaps contributing to organizations like Episcopal Relief and Development who provide important support to impoverished and war-torn parts of our world), we look for ways in our own contexts to cultivate seeds of new life for ourselves and others. We seek to become agents of hope in a world that so desperately needs it.
O God, our times are in your hands. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope. Be especially present with the people of Haiti and Afghanistan in these very difficult times; watch over all those who are suffering, grieving, and in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally, remind us that you have promised never to abandon us, so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love is present and cultivating new life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
Yours in Christ,