Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 27: Year A
“Hear this, O elders, give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your ancestors? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten.” (Joel 1: 1 to 4)
In the Joel reading we hear of four different kinds of locusts. There are cutting locusts, swarming locusts, hopping locusts and destroying locusts. Therefore, no matter what kind of defense they plan, there comes a different kind of attack. It sounds similar to our current pandemic.
But Thanks be to God, we are never without hope. We have had to endure many social limitations and when I read “Grain-offering and drink-offering are withheld from the house of your God” (Joel 1:13), I remember that we, in the Church, are having to omit the chalice. We do however get the bread or grain-offering.
The ever restructuring locusts are not too different from our Corona Virus. Some catch it, and I have heard, some re-catch it. This is different. In Joel we read, “For a nation has invaded my land, powerful and innumerable; its teeth are lions’ teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness” (Joel 1:6). However, we believers must remember that no virus or any “bug,” is more powerful than our God. And as the hymn goes, “Our God Reigns.”
And while our current virus makes us separate, I believe it is in coming together in the right way that we will be enabled to eradicate this pandemic. We need to come together in heeding the advice to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and washing our hands often. Perhaps, just perhaps, these words come from the Spirit of God down through the saints of God. I want this pandemic to be over. And, I want to touch people again during the Peace. And with my grain offering, I want my chalice back too. O Lord hear our prayer.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John