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Dressed for Action

"Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks."
Luke 12:35-36, NRSV
In some circumstances, I can be a dreadful procrastinator. Not normally with the laundry or cleaning, but if there’s something looming on my to-do list that is especially demanding or I’m uncertain about how to tackle it, it can sit there for rather longer than it should!

There is so much uncertainty right now, even in the everyday pattern of our lives. Things that once would be a simple decision such as “shall we go and see Derek and Jo for supper” are now more complicated: What if we are asymptomatic carriers of COVID? What if we give it to Jo and she gets very sick? What if we catch COVID from Derek and inadvertently give it to our parents? Now these are serious and important considerations, but they also add weight and pressure to once enjoyable decisions.

So, we can find ourselves in decision inertia–putting things off until after this pandemic is over. It might start with decisions about how we grocery shop and socialize, but it can easily trickle down to important and necessary tasks such as dental work, the annual physical, mending relationships, to mealtimes with the family, prayer and exercise.

I have found this to be true for me and my husband, Alex, and so these verses from Luke present a huge challenge to my thinking. This verse has reminded me that no season is dormant in the Kingdom of God. Even if I am struggling to hear, God is still calling us into fullness of life, to beauty and to joy. He is still at work in the world. My neighbors still need loving, and sheep need finding in the wilderness. The pearl of great price is in the field somewhere, so I don’t want to be content surviving for a few months, but I want to learn how to be fully alive even in this radically different lifestyle of social distancing. My prayer has changed from “end this soon Lord” to “teach me how to thrive.” So let’s not sleep these days away, but ask God how we might keep our lamps lit, our hearts passionate and our eyes open.
A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, speak to us in our fear and uncertainty. Call us out of the darkness, into your marvelous light. Equip us for the road ahead, inspire us through our community. Give us creativity to connect with you, our families and our world. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, amen.
The Rev. Jane P. Ferguson
Associate for Liturgy, Student Ministries and Outreach
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