For such a time as this

I wove on the red Star of Bethlehem stole last night, the news playing in the background.  

Red is the liturgical color symbolizing the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Is it worn at Pentecost, at ordinations, confirmations and on the feasts of martyrs.  As I wove, the words of a modern hymn repeated in my mind.

“Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Oh, Comforter and Friend
How we need Your touch again
Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down”

As the news drew to its conclusion, I felt with certainty, and in dread, that Krystallnacht is coming.  And I prayed that like the faithful Christians of 1930’s Germany, that I would have the strength to be a martyr if I were called to such a task.  Finally, I could not continue and went to bed.

I took up my Bible, but the specified daily reading from the Gospel of Luke did not speak to me.  I turned instead to the book of the Prophet Micah.  In this book, Micah predicts the inevitable destruction of Israel and Judah, and the once mighty kingdoms that they built there laid waste.  

In the midst of this there is a bridge.  The question is asked “With what shall I come to the Lord?”  And the answer is given:

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness, 
And to walk humbly with your God?”

For many years this has been my daily prayer, with a coda of the Psalmists prayer: “Show my your ways, O Lord.” Usually - frustratingly - the answer has been marked with silence.  But last night there was an answer:  “You have been praying this, for all this time, for this time.  To guide you and strengthen you for the days to come.”

A couple of weeks ago, my Pastor said prophetically - and in a context that was both the same and different - that she believes that we have been put here “for such a time as this” - smiling at me as she quoted from the Book of Esther.  

And so it was all put together:  For such a time as this we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to do what the Lord requires of us.  To do justice.  To love kindness.  To walk humbly with our God.  

And then I slept.  Only to wake early with these words formed.  They are very personal, and I wasn’t sure if I should share them.  But as they have been entered onto the page, I realize that they haven’t been given to me for me alone.  And so, now, my friends, they are also for you.

Red Star of Bethlehem stole.

Red Star of Bethlehem stole.