The pandemic roller coaster continues and here at St. James we have been up and down a few times. Perhaps the longer we ride the more accustomed we get, but I do think that there is a toll that it takes on individuals, communities and societies.
There is quite a lot of evidence of this strain and weariness around us these days. Mixed up with optimism around the vaccine there seems to be a growing level of frustration and conflict in our society. Sometimes I wonder, once the pandemic has passed, how long it will take to heal the wounds that have emerged in the midst very difficult and extended circumstances.
While I seldom agree with everything any government at any level says or does, I do recognize that praying for and honoring our leaders is an important Christian practice. I like that St. James includes regular prayers for those who govern, because especially now, after a very hard year, those in leadership need our prayers. We don’t just pray for the leaders we like or voted for, we pray for all of them because we care for them and for the people and land they govern.
In the present moment, I have a sense we can play the role of peacemakers in our society, by communicating gently and kindly to others, by not inflaming controversies and by speaking our minds with truthfulness and grace. It is especially important to not speak with derision or contempt toward or about those with whom we disagree.
There are many different views on the pandemic as it continues to unearth our fragility as a society. To be sure there are better and worse ways to handle these complex challenges. However, now seems like a good time to take the apostle’s words seriously: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18.
St. James is a place of prayer, and may we continue to pray for healing, peace and rest for our tired and weary world.