Daily Devotion for March 19, 2021

Let your face shine upon your servant; save me [us] in your steadfast love.                             Psalm 31:16
These daily devotions, written by the Cabinet in our Wisconsin Conference, began one year ago today. Bishop Jung’s and Dan Dick’s devotions have appeared each weekend, totaling 52 each. The seven other Cabinet members have written 3-4 devotions every month on average, somewhere between 35-40 devotions. Our communications staff (thank you to Jonathan Stefonek, and now Lisa Wink) have posted these every day all year. Thank you to each person who has contributed your spiritual care and devotional messages with our conference across this year: Bishop Jung, Dan Dick, Kate Croskery Jones, Barb Certa-Werner, Scott Carlson, Tsuker Yang, Forrest Wells, Jorge Mayorga and me (though it feels odd to say thanks to myself)! It has been a challenging and fulfilling year. Thank you!
We are also deeply aware of all the spiritual care, devotional messages. and faithful actions that each of you as pastors and laity have created across this past year. While the pandemic and other crises have interrupted and challenged the ways we have lived and served in our ministries, each and every one of you has stepped into new territories and struggles and lessons learned and adventures met in how we live out our daily lives, our worshiping lives, and our ways of serving and caring for others. Thank you! Thank you!!
This Lenten season has taken on new meaning in my life and ministry. I encountered wilderness temptations and complaints in ways I never experienced before. The journey of the Israelites through the wilderness and into the land of promise and the journey of Jesus in the last weeks of his life as he walked to Jerusalem, the betrayals, trials, crucifixion and on to the resurrection, have become more formative and even transformative faith-stories for me than ever before.
While I don’t know if the pandemic is nearing the end of the worst effects, I do know that God walks this wilderness journey with us and that there is a land of hope in the future. While I know that we still have tremendous work to do around dealing with all the issues which hurt and divide us, I do know that God can create new resurrected life out of the most broken actions and situations we live through. When life feels bleak, when despair seems to overwhelm, when anger and division seem to fracture us, I remember that God is present throughout everything – and that God’s life, hope and grace prevail. God’s light of life shines in steadfast love – always. Thank you, God!
With the psalmist, let us pray:  God of light and love, let your face shine upon your servants; save us in your steadfast love. We pray in the name of the One who taught us how to live fully, Jesus our Christ. Amen.