Many of us are sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic-COVID 19 virus. We are each gathered in our own special place. Some are alone and some are with family or with friends. Some are willing to be in one place for their own safety or for the safety of others. Others are not willing.
It reminds me of the passage from Luke 13:31-35 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem…How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you were not willing.”
What does it mean to be gathered in? Gathering in and sheltering in place can be pleasant or not so pleasant. It can be delightful, a challenge or boring. I think of small farmers gathering the cows together and herding them into a certain space for safety. I think of parents calling to teenagers to invite them to something the parents think would be helpful for them, but the teenagers aren’t interested. I think of being called together for a special meeting that interrupts what one had planned for the day.
What does it mean to be gathered in by God? For me, it means to be aware of God’s presence. Sometimes I find it hard to be aware of the Holy One when I’m in a large group. As I’m reflecting on being gathered in by God, I’m conscious that I may not always be so willing to be gathered in by God. When I’m in a difficult situation, I may think of what I can do rather than asking for God’s guidance. I forget God’s invitation to come. I forget to be aware of God with me.
God doesn’t promise an easy life but that God will stay with us. In Matthew 28:20 we read, “Behold, I am with you always.” God’s promise is that no matter what happens we are never alone. We are always welcome and under God’s welcoming, sheltering wings. God will see us through our challenges and difficulties and give us the strength we need for each moment. We are invited to trust God and huddle under God’s wings.
May you remember God’s promise of being present as you are challenged how to live during these days of the coronavirus pandemic.