Posted: 5/3/20 at 7:00pm. Written by Jeanne Anderson.
This time marked by pandemic contagion and physical distancing has caused me to hear scripture differently. That is how the Bible lives, though. We go to the Bible again and again, to the same stories and psalms we’ve known since we were children, but because we are not the same people that we once were, those same stories speak new truths to us. They speak to our hearts and help us bring faith to life and life to faith for the time we are living.
In this Easter season on the way to Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is on my mind as we consider resurrection energy and what that means for the creation and continuation of God’s church. In resurrection, Jesus shows the disciples what it means to be a new creation animated or raised up by the Spirit. Raised up by the Spirit, Jesus met his disciples and breathed the Spirit into them. They were given new energy, new life, for continuing Jesus’ message of generous love. Remember, Peter preached and 3,000 were added on Pentecost (Acts 2)! That’s some energy that moved among them! I think that energy is moving in my church now and could be moving in yours, too. We are more together now than we’ve been in years. Our ministries to one another and to our community are strong. We are praying and sharing and serving together as we are able. The Spirit is alive in us, and we are together in Jesus’ mission of sharing God’s generous love.
To that end, I’d like you to consider Psalm 23 and what it might mean to you and your church in this COVID-19 moment, in fact, I’ve written a COVID-19 version that you might pray and vision for a Pentecost celebration or a Pentecost spiritual reset. Pentecost, as a commemoration of the birthday of the church, is May 31 this year. I’m praying that you will feel the Spirit move!
COVID-19: Psalm 23, an adaptation
23:1 The LORD is my wisdom, I know what to do.
23:2 He encourages me to be cautious; he shows me how to love wisely;
23:3 he helps me be patient.
23:4 Even though I know many tensions, I will not despair; you, in my brothers and sisters, are with me; my church family—they comfort me.
23:5 You feed my body and spirit from your table in the midst of great hunger; you bless me as your own; my life goes on.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and, in my Spirit, I dwell now and always in the house of the LORD.
Dr. Jeanne Anderson is the Minister with Missions at Fredericksburg Baptist Church, Fredericksburg, VA.