A Word from the Chaplain, Dr. Reggie Rushing March 18, 2020
My week has been off kilter all week since I didn't meet with you last Sunday. Something is wrong in my world when I don't go to church on Sunday. Nevertheless, I have kept you in my prayers this week, and I am hopeful that you are exercising the proscribed caution in your activities and that you remain healthy. This virus has come at a time that has resulted in a perfect storm. Normally, we would have audio and video capacities to continue to have a worship service on Sunday, even on a limited basis. However, because of the renovations going on in our sanctuary, our old equipment has been taken out and our new equipment is not yet installed. However, we have a target date of March 29 of having the capability of live-streaming our worship service that you can see online. Whether we have resumed meeting together or, more likely, are continuing to observe the "no-assembling" order, we will plan to have a worship service on that Sunday at 11:00 a.m. that you will be able to watch. You will be receiving more information as we draw closer to the date as to exactly what will transpire. In the meantime, you are in my prayers and I humbly offer this prayer of supplication for us all.
Lord, we confess that we are wandering around confused and bewildered by the events that are affecting our world, our nation, our state, and even our Chapel. We are bombarded 24/7 with talk of this new virus, complete with quarter hour "news flashes" with a new development more dire than the last. You know, Lord, that we, as your children, are weak. We talk about and are quick to profess that we have faith in you, and yet our actions sometimes belie our words. As "people of the Book" we have read so many passages that remind us that God is with us, that we are not to be afraid. Forgive us, Lord, when we are afraid anyway.
I pray for our Chapel family, that we may know peace in these unprecedented times, as we remember that we and all that exists comes from you; that you are in control and you will never forsake us and that no matter what happens we rest securely in your love. Especially do we pray for those who may be particularly at risk. We pray that you will protect them with your overarching love and mercy.
I pray for pastors and ministers around the world who are searching for new and innovative ways to minister to their flocks while our circumstances prohibit the traditional gathering together of the faithful. Use us all to find ways to further your kingdom and share your love in ways that we perhaps hadn't considered before.
For those, Lord, who are in our health care industry, who are put in danger with every sick patient with whom they come in contact, we ask that you would protect them with your grace and mercy. Give them wisdom and patience and endurance to meet the demands that have been placed upon them.
And Father, instill in our hearts, as you did so long ago in the hearts of those worried souls you had led through the wilderness to a new land, the promise that you will always be our omnipotent God and we can place our total trust in you. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). We lay claim to that promise as we navigate these days of our lives. And when these difficult days are over, we will remember your sustaining power in our lives and we will give you our thanks and our praise.
We pray this in the loving name of Jesus. Amen