Reading: Joel 2: 23-32
Our lives, our situations, our communities sometimes reflect the scenario of Joel’s writing. Devastation and doom loom large in our lives. A time of exile pervades our thoughts. This can be in our personal lives or in our communal lives. Yet Joel also brings us words of hope. Joel writes words of hope that speak of God at work to bring healing and restoration.
The small community in which I live has been hit hard recently, losing many individuals. There was a memorial service yesterday, there are two today, one tomorrow, and one more on Monday. Each and every one affecting the family and wider circle of friends. Each bringing pain and tears. One involved a student and has touched the lives of every student and classmate plus the hearts of all in our community. The exile we feel is maybe best named as grief. But we too feel the shadow of loss hanging over our town.
In the midst of our brokenness and grief, we hang onto God. Like in Joel’s writing today, we too know that God remains present to us, working to bring healing and wholeness. God’s Spirit weaves among us, reminding us of His goodness and love in the midst of our hurt. Our faith draws us to each other. Through that faith we hug each other a little tighter, we tell each other we care a bit more often, and we turn again and again to God for comfort and strength.
Lord God, pour out your Spirit in this place. Rain down upon us your love and grace. Surround each with your arms of strength and comfort. Draw us together as you draw us to you. Touch each hurting heart with your unending love. Dry every tear with your breath of love. Be in this place. Reassure us that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Be in this place O Lord. We need you. Be in this place.