A friend’s blog pointed out some words from Isaiah that can help to ground us during this time of enforced inactivity. Isaiah said to a frantic, panicky people who sought to fight or to run away from trouble, “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
This is not an invitation to egocentric introspection. Some people dismiss Lent because it seems overly focused on navel-gazing. That’s not what this is about. The invitation to “returning and rest,” to “quietness and trust” is to a renewal of confidence that we find our lives in the One who made us, that in life and in death we belong to God. When we stop, rest, empty of our own need to be in control, we return to the source of life. We open a little more to the wind of the spirit moving in and around us.
Such a returning is not a retreat from life. It renews our courage, purpose and hope. We return to the “new command” to love one another as Jesus loved us grounded in trust in God. And, if we are not able to gather in sanctuaries with lilies, trumpets and fancy hats this year, we will still be able to live the resurrection. We will be able to celebrate it as we carry the strength and courage we find in our returning and rest into our call to love our neighbor. And, after all, that is where we need resurrection most of all – in reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, compassion – the power of Easter every day.