“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NRSV)
I hope that you had a joyful Easter celebration yesterday. I am grateful that, even though we could not leave our homes, we still had the opportunity to rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus. The day after Easter is always a challenging day for pastors. There is so much painstaking preparation in the weeks leading up to Easter that, come the Monday following Easter, I’m usually laid out in exhaustion. Even though we were not holding our services in the traditional fashion, this year was no exception.
Yes, the preparation and execution were taxing, but I think the source of my exhaustion this year is less from the task of leading worship and more from a sadness deep within my spirit. I feel very fortunate that no one with whom I am directly connected has died from the Coronavirus. However, as I watch the news, the tears of family members who have lost loved ones, the devastation of doctors and nurses who have been unable to save their patients, and the worry on the faces of the millions of people who have lost their jobs weighs heavy on my soul.
Part of my angst is that I personally wish I could do more. I wish that I could quell the grief of the survivors who are left to mourn the victims of this virus. I wish that I were a brilliant scientist who knew how to develop a vaccine that would immunize the world. I wish that I were a wealthy and powerful businessman who could promise the unemployed well-paying jobs when this is all over. Sadly, I can do none of those things. My only power is to offer words of hope, comfort, and love.
In the Christian faith, our hope and comfort comes from Jesus. What his resurrection demonstrates to us is that, no matter how dark and random the world may seem, God’s love is the one true constant. I really believe in the power of God’s love to change the world. Whenever I feel like I can’t make sense of the world, I always look for signs of resurrection. Where is God taking the difficult and challenging circumstances of our lives and using them for good? How is God’s love mending, healing, and making this world a better place? How can I use God’s love to make my little corner of the world a better reflection of God’s kingdom on earth?
As I write this, I can feel God’s love taking the sadness in my soul and transforming it into fuel for doing good in the world. As Paul describes in his second letter to the church in Corinth, God transforms our weakness into power. If you are anything like me and you are struggling to find your footing in this difficult time, may you find strength in your weakness and may you believe in the power of God’s love to transform us, and the world, for good.