By Pr. Rhoda Klein Miller
We were supposed to share Communion this Sabbath. While churches are currently permitted to host in-person worship, our leaders and volunteers agreed that online-only was our best strategy while the Omicron Covid variant sweeps through our community.
I could have led Communion online as I’ve done a few times since the pandemic hit but my heart wasn’t in it. I’m sorry to disappoint you if you expected a spiritual leader with unshakable optimism and drive. This time I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to facilitate alone what is meant to be practiced in fellowship. The sense of defeat grew as I contemplated losing the momentum of previous months in rebuilding church engagement. It mirrored a personal experience with the recent restrictions closing my gym. I need the accountability and energy of a group to maintain a fitness routine. Without it my motivation died.
Divine intervention would come as I scrolled through my Instagram feed. There was an image of the Last Supper showing Jesus alone at the table as the disciples looked on from separated boxes overhead in a familiar video chat layout. The message for me validated the discomfort of our current reality and reminded me Jesus ministered through discouragement. He not only spent 40 days physically isolated in the wilderness, but also endured a lifetime of loneliness in being misunderstood and facing rejection. Jesus combats this alienation with a curious habit. Luke 5:16 explains He “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Jesus transformed lonely places into sacred spaces by seeking connection, communion with God. There is SomeOne with you in the loneliest places with comfort, peace and hope no one else can offer.