7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. -Psalm 139:7-12, NRSV
The Zoom meeting began with a prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit,” she prayed. “Come, Holy Spirit, who can never be quarantined.”
Come, Holy Spirit, who can never be quarantined. In this season — this season of quarantine and self-isolation, this season of stay-at-home and shelter-in-place, this season of coronavirus — the words are striking. Come, Holy Spirit, who can never be quarantined. Come, Holy Spirit, who can never be confined.
It’s the sentiment driving the opening words of this scripture reading today. “Where can I go from your spirit?” the psalmist asks. “Or where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7, NRSV). The psalmist’s rhetorical questions remind us: there is no place, no confinement, no isolation, no quarantine that is beyond the reach and presence of God. “Where can I go from your spirit?” Nowhere. “Or where can I flee from your presence?” Nowhere, again. God’s reach is limitless. God’s presence is unfathomable.
Twice a month, I lead chapel services for the children of the Wesley’s Circle of Friends Preschool. Every single chapel service begins the same way, with one of our four-year-olds helping me to light a candle. As we light that candle, I tell them: “This candle is a reminder that God is here with us. And of course, God is always here with us, whether this candle is lit or not. The candle just helps us remember.” I remind them, over and over… God isn’t limited to this place. God isn’t limited at all. God is always present, always with you.
I offer you the same reminder this day. While you may, at this very moment, be limited to a particular place, God is not. God isn’t limited at all. God is always present, always with you.
So come, Holy Spirit, who can never be quarantined. Come, Holy Spirit, who can never be confined. Come, Holy Spirit, who does not need to stay six feet away. Come, Holy Spirit, who is as close and as present as the very breath in our lungs. Come, Holy Spirit, and remind us that we are never alone.
Come Holy Spirit and remind us who you are. For …
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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