1 “Come, let us return to the LORD; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. 3 Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
– Hosea 6:1-3, NRSV
“Welcome to worship on this beautiful rainy day,” I said at the start of the worship service.
After the benediction, one of the members of the church came up to me. “Thank you, pastor, for what you said,” he began. “Thank you for calling this rainy day ‘beautiful.’ People tend to think sunny days are the only beautiful days. But I’m a farmer… and farmers know that the rain is beautiful, too. We need it.”
This exchange took place several years and a couple of churches ago… but I’ve held on to his words. The rain is beautiful, too.
As I write this, it’s raining. It has been raining. It is probably going to keep on raining. And in the midst of the inevitable cabin fever that is part of COVID-19 social distancing, rain may seem to be anything but beautiful. It keeps us inside. It hides the sun from our eyes. It dampens our moods as much as anything else.
But the rain is beautiful, too, that faithful farmer reminded me. It brings life and revives life just as much as the sun.
Perhaps that’s why the prophet Hosea talks about God — this God who heals, this God who revives, this God who raises us up — in rainy terms. “Let us press on to know the LORD,” Hosea writes. “He will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3, NRSV).
So rejoice in the rain as much as the sun, my friends. Rejoice where you once might have grumbled… because that rain, too, is life itself. It’s a gift, a sign, a reminder of God… the God who heals and revives, just like the rain.
And as you watch those raindrops, remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
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