Our text today is Psalm 13: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
In moments of need the psalmists frequently ask God why he hides his face from them, or they plead with him to engage their enemies. Well, today, we have an enemy of a different kind, don’t we? It’s an invisible enemy seeking after our very life and so we too ask God, “How long, O Lord, how long?”
Have you thought about all that is happening this way, perhaps God is using this pandemic for his holy purposes. Yes, there is death. Yes there is pain and loss but I have found that it is in such times that people are more open to hearing God’s Word. Even though people are hurting, they are open to finding some kind of meaning and purpose in all of this. C.S. Lewis once famously said, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
God is using his megaphone. As one of my Facebook friends said, “Think about it. In two short months, just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship. God said, ‘you want to worship athletes; I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians; I will shut down Civic Centers. You want to worship actors; I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money; I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don't want to go to church and worship Me; I will make it where you can't go to church" All of this has happened in less than 2 months.’”
God is calling us to repentance. He is demanding to be heard. Will you listen? Will you encourage your neighbors to listen? Will you repent of all your sin and believe the good news? Christ has come. He has defeated all of your enemies – namely sin, death and the power of the devil. As a result we sing in praise all of our days, the good ones, the bad ones, and yes, the terrible ones. Will you think on these things? Amen.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine