By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
A song of exile a song of lament a song for what was and cannot be found again, as Housman put it That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went, And cannot come again. The Israelites are being carried off to a land they know not by an enemy that mocks them by telling them to be cheerful and sing out. But they cannot for they know the truth the highways where they went they can never go along again.
The old familiar times are forever gone and life can never be the same again.
As we survey the devastation wreaked by Conoravirus, we face an uncertain future. The ideas we had are shaken, the invincibility of science, that modern medicine would overcome all and that nothing could threaten our way of life. All the certainties and touchstones of life are now held in doubt.
Did Jesus feel the same as he saw those plotting against him preparing to make their final moves? Did he have doubts as the prospect of the cross loomed ever large in his sight?
Perhaps, but he had faith.
And so must we. He had to drink of a cup we could not, but we must now drink from our own cup whether we would or wouldn’t. But like us, in his prayer we too know that God will not call on us to bear that which we cannot.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven, as we look to a future made uncertain by a pandemic we cannot control, we cannot even comprehend. Help us to have faith in you, in our scientists, and in our medicine, that just as Christ triumphed, so too shall we.
In your Mercy hear our prayer.