If you drive past just about any hospital or healthcare facility these days, you will likely see a sign that says, “Heroes Work Here.” These signs remind us of the brave and dedicated men and women who have dared to work in healthcare during the pandemic. We could put similar signs up in other areas, such as schools where teachers have been asked to give their all during the pandemic. We could put them up on houses where parents have raised young children or cared for elderly parents at home during the quarantine while also balancing a full work schedule.
The list can go on of people who have shined during this time by going out of their way and taking risk to help others during an unprecedented time.
We have all been asked to shine a bit during this time by being a light for others in the darkness, and often times all we have to do is get out of the way and allow God to shine through us.
In 2 Samuel 7:18-29, King David acknowledges the Lord’s presence and work in his kingdom. He acknowledges his heroic efforts and accomplishments were the work of God all along. The awesome power that had been given to David had a source; and David rightly acknowledges that source was God, not Himself.
As we enter 2022, people seem more tired than ever. Healthcare workers are quitting, students are staging walk-outs, and people are rebelling against mask wearing mandates.
When facing his own odds, King David looked to the future with hope that God would fulfill what He promised. So we too, as people who believe in a God who is present and actively working during this time, are invited to look with hope towards the fulfillment of what God has promised and to continue walking towards that hope.
“When a traveler gets tired of walking along the dusty road, he puts up with fatigue because he hopes to arrive home. Rob him of any hope of arriving and immediately his strength for walking is broken. So too, the hope for heaven which we have now is an important factor easing the pain of our just exile and sometimes harsh journey.”Saint Augustine (Sermon 158, 8)
As we continue to journey through this time together, we are called to put the hope we have out for display for all to see as a lamp is put on a lamp stand (Mark 4:21-25). For if we share the hope we have been given, then we can unite around the light we share and continue the journey of walking together.
Our light shines and hope is shared anytime we offer a word of encouragement to another, extend a hand to help someone in need, dedicate ourselves to a cause, or express optimism in the fact that God is going to bring good into a bad situation.
However, we cannot give what we do not have. Do we have any hope left to put on display? Or has our own light diminished in recent months with the discouragement that has come with the latest surge, rising gun violence, and other national and global events? Are we in need of our own renewal so we can place our light of hope back on the lamp stand for the world to see?
Each time we share the Eucharist, we are invited to renew our hope as the sacrifice of love that Christ gave to us is made present. Hope is renewed as we are reminded that Christ has won. Victory is ultimately ours. Good will prevail over the evil we presently face in the world.
Do we dare to hope and share that hope with others?
Perhaps there should be a sign in the front of our Church that says, “heroes worship and volunteer here.” For if we dare to hope as King David did, then God will indeed do great things through us and we will continue to be the lamp on a lamp stand that Jesus has called His disciples to be (Mark 4:21-25).