Bishop Hughes offers words of encouragement: "God will be with us every step of this pandemic, every bit of economic insecurity, every moment of protesting in our work to end racism and end white supremacy – God will continue to be with us." (Time: 3:55.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the Diocese of Newark. The 31st Psalm ends with these words: "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord."
Those words give me such encouragement and I hope they give you encouragement too. Because there is something I have come to see and that I know with every fiber of my being. That in this time where we have so often had to wait on our Lord and looked with all of the energy that we had to see what our Lord had in store for us, but so often we have had to be strong, and so often our hearts have taken courage.
I'm aware that in these four months that we have been out of our churches, that our ministries have grown far beyond our churches. That we are touching lives, that we are feeding people, that we are encouraging the lonely, that we are reaching out to those who are mentally fragile in their health, that we have continued being community to each other and to those around us, and that we've done that from a place of strength. And sometimes a place of strength that we didn't even know we had.
"Be strong, and have courage in your heart, all you who wait for the Lord."
You have been strong. You are strong. You will continue to be strong. And sometimes when you're strong, you will cry. And sometimes when you're strong, you will be angry. And sometimes when you're strong, you'll have words of confusion and worry cross your lips and nothing but questions. And you may not feel strong in those times, but trust me, and trust God, to know, but in those times when you cry or when you're angry or frustrated or when you're confused and asking questions – that in those very times your heart is being courageous. And it is those moments when we are at our most courageous and we feel our least confident that God is able to do things with us and in us and through us.
This continues to be a complicated time. There is much to make us sorrowful, much to worry about, and so much that we have come to treasure. And usually the treasure has to do with friendships, with family, with relationships, with love, with compassion. Those things that we've come to treasure in this time, God has used to make us strong.
So fear not my friends – we will continue on as long as it takes. God will be with us every step of this pandemic, every bit of economic insecurity, every moment of protesting in our work to end racism and end white supremacy – God will continue to be with us.
"Be strong, let your heart take courage, all of us who wait for the Lord."