“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
News of the coronavirus is constant and relentless. Much of what we hear causes great distress, anxiety, and despair. People are losing their lives to this infectious disease, causing grief, sadness, and uncertainty. All this news makes it difficult to focus on the strengthening, redeeming, resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit, instead of focusing on the weakness of the flesh. But it is important to remember that God is with us. Some people ask why God is “doing” this, or why God “allows” this. God is not doing this; God grieves with us, God is compassionate for all the suffering, God will strengthen us and give us courage. But the glorious natural world God created has danger as well as beauty, illness as well as health, threat as well as comfort, and natural disaster as well as safety and security. In the good and in the bad, God is with us! Here is a prayer for these days:
Creator God, break through the cloud of distress and despair to shine the light of your glory in our hearts and spirits. Turn our focus from fear to faith, that we might live from a place of strength and be prepared to respond to the needs of others. Fill us with a desire to pray and to praise you for the many gifts you give. Let us see all the ways we take our comfort and safety for granted and let us respond generously to the needs of all. We believe, O Lord, help our unbelief, and lift our hearts and minds to stay focused on your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).