Third Sunday in Lent: Is the Lord Among Us or Not?

Third Sunday in Lent: Is the Lord Among Us or Not?
People of African descent in rural Brazil light candles for the Dignity Vigil. Photo from the 2020 Prayer Calendar (Koinonia’s Image Bank)

Exodus 17:1-7

In the recent months and weeks, anxiety has found its way into our lives as never before. As we struggle to pay the bills with our low-wage jobs, we are surrounded by the fear of our own deportation or of loved ones. We see our health being jeopardized as we take care of family members with no affordable health care. As the environment gives signs of its fragility, we experience floods, tornados, earthquakes and fires. And in addition to all of that, we are now living in a frightening stage of a possible coronavirus pandemic. We feel tired, drained, fearful; we feel anxious. The world has become a scary place for many of us; it has become a place of injustice, of hate, of loneliness. During a time such as this, how can we know for sure that God continues to be among us? Is the Lord with us or not?

When the Israelites set on a journey of liberation, they were not fully aware of what was ahead of them. Just a few days in, the whining started, “Oh, if we had just stayed in Egypt…” They started facing some difficulties and challenges. Deep within their hearts, they were struggling with what looked like a contradiction between the promise of God—a land of flowing milk and honey—and the actual reality—the lack of water. Despite their anxiety, God opted to reveal God’s self one more time. God gave water to the thirsty people! And it was at the same place, Horeb, where God first called Moses for that journey. It was a sign that God continued to take care of the Israelites as God had been doing with Moses.

During this season of Lent, as we search for a sign that God is concerned with us and all our most basic needs, let us remember who we are and who God is. And in a time such as this, God meets us where we are, in the midst of our anxiety, and God takes us to the sacred place where we can experience God’s presence and grace once again. Yes indeed, the Lord is with us in this journey!

Rev. Andrea Reily Rocha Soares is a United Methodist Women Regional Missionary in Latin America.

Posted or updated: 3/12/2020 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.

Lent and Easter 2020

February 26: Ash Wednesday
March 1: First Sunday in Lent
March 8: Second Sunday in Lent
March 15: Third Sunday in Lent
March 22: Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 29: Fifth Sunday in Lent
April 5: Palm Sunday
April 9: Maundy Thursday
April 10: Good Friday
April 12: Easter Sunday