This is my contribution to the Scott Boulevard Baptist Church twice weekly mailer, SBBC Connection that my pastor and I devised to keep our congregation connected to us, to each other and to God.
“I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. This verse from the book of Acts has been with me this morning, as a powerful reminder of God’s presence. When Greg and I devised the schedule for SBBC connections, we wanted to be intentional about giving space for both lament and hope. Sunday’s theme is hope because it is the start of our week and we want to begin looking to and clinging to the hope we profess in Christ.
I must confess that today, this week, hope feels a little distant. In the wake of racially charged violence across the country, in the surge of disproportionate violence toward black people by law enforcement, I have been asking myself today, “how can I write about hope?” The answer came in this passage. The Lord is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. The passage goes on to say, “therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices, and my body will also live in hope.”
God’s presence is with us as we self-isolate during this pandemic. In our moments of fear, when we wonder if we will remain spared; in our loneliness when we wonder if we will ever get to hug another person, one of our beloved church people again, God is at our right hand and we will not be shaken. In the cries of “I can’t breathe,” uttered by our black brothers and sisters across the country, as the community struggles to find ways to advocate for themselves and their right to live regardless of the color of their skin, the Lord is at their right hand, and they will not be shaken.
And so, we find hope in God’s presence at our right hand. We will not be shaken, and our bodies will live in hope. I pray that you can find some hope today. Whether in your garden, or in your favorite chair with a good book, a cup of tea, a hymnal that helps you feel connected to God and God’s people. Listen to the still, small voice of God speaking hope into your life today; embrace that promise as it is whispered over your life today: “I am with you. I am at your right hand, and you will not be shaken.”
Thanks be to God.