Medenblog: Pandemic Reflections

Holy Week 2021

This article appears in the President's Blog edition of the Calvin Seminary Forum

It has been a long year. It has been a difficult year.

When we first began this journey of facing COVID-19, there were hopes that churches could gather for Easter in 2020. For the most part, that did not happen.

Even as we see vaccination rates rise and we warily watch variant rates also rise, we enter into this Holy Week with a deep need to see God work through suffering. Holy Week is marked by cries of “Hosanna,” but also “Crucify him, crucify him.”

As we reflect on the cries and concerns of this past year, I would like to share some of what was shared at Calvin Seminary through a survey of reflections that we developed and invited faculty, staff and students to participate.

Next time, I plan on providing reflections noting specifically what Bible passages, songs and discipleship practices God used in the lives of His people, but as you read these words may you join with us in prayer for the laments and cries of our hearts.

I am sure you have a similar list and we will pray for you as well as we turn together to a God who understands suffering and loss.

What Words or Phrases Would You Use to Describe the Pandemic and Its Effects on You?

This article appears in the President's Blog edition of the Calvin Seminary Forum

Persistent low-grade anxiety

Especially in the first months, every day felt the same

I especially grieve or feel the loss of spending time with my aging parents

Storm

Continual

Isolation

We missed weddings, funerals and event markers of connection

The pandemic affected us financially, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and physically

I felt the loss of enthusiasm about studies as I was separated from others

Disconnect

Divisive

Isolated

Job Uncertainty

Physical and Mental Exhaustion

Isolation from Church, friends and family community

Frustrating

Draining

Isolating

Distrust

Weariness

Wariness

Mental breakdown

Isolation killed my spirit

Emotional Roller-Coaster

Cancelled events and regrets

Surreal

Uneven

Humanity-wide

Missed opportunities

Isolating

Estranging from family

Confusing priorities

Constant

Challenging

Burdensome

Separation

Shame

Guilt

Disruptive

Humbling

Devastating

Slow-burn

Discouraging

Isolating

Draining

Lonely

Restless

The pandemic showed me the banality of post-modern life

The pandemic helped me realize how little I trusted God

The pandemic helped me trust God

This article appears in the President's Blog edition of the Calvin Seminary Forum

Thank you for joining in prayer for the people and situations behind these words. The most consistent word used was a form of isolation. It reminds me that we have a Savior who while on the cross cried out to His Father as recorded in Matthew 27:46 - About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a]lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

May we have the confidence of approaching our High Priest (Jesus) who understands our pain, our suffering and our isolation. May we find comfort in knowing that God Himself is with us.

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