Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
In times of difficulty and confusion there are always the Psalms. This Psalm, 130, is honest and it helps me when things seem dark. We might want to avoid difficult feelings at a time like this, but the Psalmist likes to name them. The poet feels stuck in the dark, and calls out to God for help. It takes a while as the writer works through their feelings, but eventually they find the light of God’s love, even in the darkness. As we face a change to our daily lives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I ask you to call me, and each other, name your fears, and look for the light of God’s love even in these moments.
Last night the Bishop of California wrote to all churches in the diocese and asked us to cancel public worship and reduce meetings for the rest of the month of March. He took this action prayerfully and with a sense of compassion. He asked that we put together livestream services, which we will do. I will be asking for a small group of clergy, readers and musicians to come together at Transfig each Sunday for a single service at 10:30am. We will live stream worship and share it with you all. We also hope to create video resources for families with small children in the absence of our 9:15am service. I hope you will gather with us on the live stream, and look for family resources on our website.
Our Bishop’s request is a manifestation of the idea of ‘social distancing.’ Social distancing is a phrase that has entered into common usage in the last few weeks as we do what we can to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing gives us a chance to lessen the spread of this virus, and make sure our health services don’t get overwhelmed. It is a sensible and prudent approach that we are adopting at Transfiguration as requested by our Bishop. But whilst its primary intention is to keep us safe, its secondary impact could be to make members of our community feel isolated. So as the rest of March proceeds I am going to work with our staff and volunteers to make sure we are mutually supporting each other and staying connected:
Our souls wait for the Lord,
as the nightwatch waits for the morning,
as the nightwatch waits for the morning.
With the Lord there is steadfast love.
And with this community there is steadfast love.
Even if we are staying at home, let us not be alone.
I love you very much Transfigurines, and I am praying for us all.
From the UK, Matthew loved US culture from the first time he picked up a Fantastic Four Comic when he was 12.