During the last five months, the Covid-19 virus has been utmost on our minds and hearts. Pennsylvania has approximately 118,000 confirmed cases.  With this number climbing, we all probably know someone who has come down with the disease, or someone who has succumbed to the virus. We keep these individuals and the entire world population in our prayers.

There is no doubt that our lives have drastically changed.  Facebook Live is now our “go-to” worship place on a Sunday morning; committees meet on Zoom; our staff is working from home. With minimal adjustment, positive energy and grit determination, we are still alive and well, as we remain diligent in warding off this pandemic. Thank you all for joining us on this journey.  Your support is deeply appreciated.

I would like today to focus on “essential services”. This is one of the phrases that we now associate with the virus – along with wearing masks, social distancing, testing, vaccines, PPE equipment, etc.  The Economic Policy Institute’s website identified ten professions that they considered “essential”. At the top of the list, of course, is health care, followed by food and agriculture. energy, chemical sector, transportation, communication, financial sector, water and wastewater management, and critical manufacturing.

As I looked over the list, these services would be immediately noticed if they disappeared. We know of them, use most of them, and rely on the services they provide. My theological mind began to wander, as I added one more essential service to the very top of the list.

Yes, friends, God is “essential”.  We sometimes feel that God disappears from us. We know and study God, and we surely rely on the “services” God provides. At a time when our home, work and play are disrupted; when we have stopped gathering in person to worship, conduct our meetings on Zoom, plan our trips to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, and recreational activities with the virus on our minds, God is with us.

This quiet time of staying home and away from crowds is a wonderful time to explore our relations with God. Revisit a Bible verse you love, design a prayer space to communicate with God – alone and present. Be conscious of all the times we need God’s essential services during our day, allow God to enter into your space. Talk, question, think and pray.  God is waiting.  God is essential.  God is at the top of our list.