Pastor’s Corner: Strengthening the Soul

September 1, 2021

With COVID-19 continuing to spread around our community, our nerves are jangling and our anxiety is rising.

We know the steps that reduce transmission of COVID-19: vaccination, distance, masks, reducing the size of groups. What will we do to manage the anxiety? What will we do to maintain the temper of our minds? What will we do to soothe and strengthen our weary souls?

I wish I had an assured “one size fits all” spiritual program to recommend, but those don’t exist. You’ll have to try different things and see what renews your spirit, what builds up your peace. One very simple thing to try is the repetition of a simple prayer. One of the oldest Christian prayers known is called “The Jesus Prayer,” and it goes like this:

“O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”

Would it reassure your soul to pray this a few times during the day?

Take up a daily devotional such as the UCC’s Daily Devotional. Try reading a book of the Bible as this pandemic extends. I’d suggest beginning with the Psalms. Some of them, I grant you, may not be helpful (songs praising the local ruler, for instance), but others plumb the depth of the spirit. Read one of the Gospels and listen for Jesus’ reassurance. If you like to wrestle with significant questions, read Romans. Of course, you can join our Bible Study via Zoom.

Develop some prayer rituals around COVID-19 precautions. Don a mask with a prayer for yourself and those you hope to protect. Pray a silent blessing as you greet a neighbor in the supermarket from six feet of distance.

Feed your spirit, friends. Our souls are strained, too, and they need God’s healing.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Photo by Eric Anderson

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , | Posted on September 1, 2021

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