Reflection of the Week - 23 June 2020

Posted in Faith

"Are we there yet?" - From the keyboard of Rev Wendy Prior, Synod of SA Staff Chaplain

As COVID-19 restrictions slowly ease, many people are wondering when things will return to some form of normal.

A phrase that has stuck with me this week when thinking about this is, “Are we there yet?”

This cartoon of St Patrick regretting his decision to drive the snakes out of Ireland brings back memories of car journeys with my children.Maybe other parents have had similar regrets about car journeys with children.

Frequently, when our children were younger and we travelled from our home in Adelaide to their grandparents in the mid-north, we would be barely past the turn off to Virginia when we would hear from the back seat, “are we there yet?”

There is a great children’s book by Alison Lester entitled, ‘Are we there yet?’

This book tells the story of a family as they embark on a three-month journey all around Australia, stopping at many interesting places. Of course, there is one child who constantly asks the question, “are we there yet?”

In the story we read about the ways in which different members of the family respond to new places, new experiences and how they are able to find joy in whatever place they find themselves. Whether it is gazing in awe at rock paintings in Kakadu or wearing socks on their hands to keep warm in the snow – every place had its beauty and learning opportunities. When the family return ‘home’ at the end of their trip, having hugs with grandparents and their pets is what is most valued.

So it is for us as we journey through 2020. Many things in our lives are different – and may never be the same again.In the midst of all the changes no doubt we have learned new things about ourselves and the people we care about.We don’t yet know when or how our COVID-19 path will end – all we can do is look for the good and the joyful in the place we are in right now, just as the family did in Alison Lester’s book.

Since we are in God’s world – we are already there: we are in the place and time we are called to be in. As the prayer below says, "we feel the groaning of the earth on every side...our faith is small... and it seems impossible that God's good will win.”

Perhaps our prayer can also be, "join your faith with our faith, O God."

O God, we care about many things.

Our hearts burn fiercely with our outrage

as we see the world before us.

We hear the cries of wounded people

in many places.

We know you do not choose their wounding

but we cannot bear to see their suffering.

Join your anger with ours, O God.

O God we need more power.

Our energy runs low

while there is much to be done.

We know we do not save the world

but your salvation of us calls us on

and we feel the groaning of the earth

on every side.

Join your power with our power, O God.

O God, our faith is small.

How can we believe that good will win

when so many forces of evil seem so strong?

Why do we have to wait so long for justice?

Why can’t we see more happening

when we give all that we have

and work so hard for peace?

Join your faith with our faith, O God.

Lift us up like eagles that our strength may be renewed.

Confirm in us the passion for a new heaven and a new earth.

In the name of the Christ. Amen.

-Prayer taken from the 1993 Mission Prayer Handbook (And There is God, Day 14).

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