Here are my thoughts for March 29th, the 5th Sunday in Lent (Year A).
We can believe that God is present and still be either six feet away or in the safety of our homes on Sunday morning. The church will always be the church, no matter how physically close its members are. God isn’t just found in the confines of a physical church building — God meets us where we are. – Miguel Petrosky
As I read the notes on Facebook and look outside my window, I notice that the sounds are different. I hear the birds a little more clearer. It isn’t because they have gotten louder but there are no other sounds of life. As people stay home, the world outside has grown quiet.
Our daily routine has changed and, as a result, the sounds of life have grown quiet. And as we stare out our windows and we listen to this new world, we wonder, “Can life return to this world?
I think this was the same thought that Ezekiel had when he looked over the valley of the dry bones.
But it is more than just the silence; it is the separation. We have become separated from our children, our siblings, and our parents. We worry about those who have taken an oath to heal the sick and protect the weak, some of whom may be our children or friends.
We feel the pain that Mary and Martha felt when their brother Lazarus died and Jesus was not there to comfort them. In their pain and grief, they felt separated from the world.
Alone in a quiet world, separated from the world, we wonder what we can do.
We know that when Jesus heard that Lazarus had died, he dropped everything and headed to comfort Mary and Martha. And then, presaging HIs own Resurrection, he brought Lazarus back to life.
We know that God should Ezekiel that life could return to a seemingly dry and lifeless valley.
And we know that we, individually, cannot do anything. Paul reminds us that those who seek to achieve success for themselves, for those who seek glory for themselves will always fail.
But we are not alone. Even in our solitude, we are a part of a much larger community. And through that much larger community, we reach out to other members to make sure that they are doing well. We reach out to our community to share our prayers and our thoughts. We may be separate from others but it has not stopped us from worshipping.
And as we bring our community together in spirit, we have discovered that there are many who society has forgotten. And when the time comes that our physical separation ends and we gather together in celebration, we must begin to rebuild the community as well.
As the sounds of life have grown silent, we have begun to hear the cries of pain and grief from those who are often forgotten or overlooked by society. We have, in the silence of the sounds of life, heard the voices of greed.
God has said that life can be restored and the sounds of life restored. It will be because we have heard the voice of God that we know there are many whose voices have been silenced and we must answer those calls.
The sounds of life will return; will they be the sounds of all life?