Archive for March 22nd, 2023

Pandemic and Exile

Written by Allan Anderson, from the Village Church.

When movie producers or stage play consultants believe a sequel to an original play or movie may have commercial success, eventually a sequel becomes a reality.  The original idea remains generally intact but the players (actors) are chosen for their appeal and ability to re-enact the story. Most of us seldom think of “living in exile,” and yet the breadth of this word covers a broad range of identities.  One that recently comes to mind is the effect of the world’s recent COVID virus challenge.  All would agree, it drastically affected lives, habits, economics, and leadership throughout the world.  A retrospective study of the last three years seems to offer similar times, not only today but back to Biblical times in events such as the Exodus or the Exile of the Jews to Babylon.  The study of these two examples could easily be compared to our experiences with the pandemic in our rapidly changing world. Both of these stories required a presence of leadership and learning in order to emerge successfully to a more desired and recognized state of being.  While Moses receives the credit for leadership in their escape from Egypt, the prolonged exile in Babylon offered experiences and new leadership recognition.  An Assyrian king, whose benevolence allowed the Jewish leadership to re-establish the role they were supposed to play as God’s chosen people, arises.

COVID  clearly challenged all of us to both experience and discover new ways to return to normal life.  The illness presented a medical challenge that was clearly new in its identity and demanded a global pursuit to find a way forward. Around the world, all people felt the effects of being exiled from family, friends, education, and work. As a result,  prayers for God’s help came from individuals and faith communities in an unparalleled fashion. In adverse times, it is often difficult to quickly or clearly see our God and any actions that are being taken.  Yet today, as the Pandemic subsides, it is easier to understand that God’s presence and regard for his children helps guide us to the answers that have brought us out of modern exile and towards an increasing  return to a life of faith, commitment, and promise for the future.


Written by Kenneth L. Carder, the author of today’s meditation.

O God, grant us an assurance of your presence amid our time of exile; mend our brokenness; forgive our inequities; restore our hope; and empower us as instruments of your peace. In the name of your Son, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen.

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