Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty: A sermon by The Rev’d Joan Claring-Bould

We live in unsettling times. The unrelenting stories of suffering throughout much of the world due to the COVID virus is becoming a burden. We are empathetic, we are grateful for what we have been spared, we are nervous when we hear of a breakout in a medi-hotel, and even more so in the community bringing about a sudden lockdown. We can’t make plans to travel with any certainty and neither can others visit us from interstate with any certainty of getting back without needing to quarantine.

But we are so blessed. Life is so good for us in South Australia. There is a promise of a vaccine coming soon, and after that life returning to a new normal. Some have suffered more than others during this pandemic, and will continue to do so for some time to come as the economy readjusts Yet, of all people, we have reason to hope.

Still, fear and uncertainty caused by such a deadly threat as a pandemic are not easily set aside. Like grief, we learn to live with the new reality once the crisis has subdued, but it can be a rocky emotional and spiritual journey. It may be we think we should feel trusting, we should have hope, but still feel very uneasy about what lies ahead.

Throughout all the diversities and mysteries of the ministry of Jesus depicted in the gospels one theme is central. Jesus always points beyond his earthly ministry to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, or in St. John’s Gospel he refers to “My Father’s House”.

Jesus endured all the uncertainties and challenge of his life because he lived so closely connected to the one he knew as Abba, Father. It was the Father’s love which sustained Jesus in every threat or ordeal which he encountered, and it was Love that overcame death when Jesus was crucified. Love is the source of our hope.

Reading the scriptures, meditating, praying, delighting in nature, listening to music can all be ways of allowing God to speak God’s words of peace and hope to our wrestles hearts and souls. I hope you will find that the Taizé music in this service draws you to that place of stillness and God’s healing and sustaining love. Amen