United Church of Christ

It’s Going to Be Bad

“Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away.’ … I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.” – John 14:27b-29 (NRSV)

It’s the speech that I call The Great Assurance – Jesus’ efforts to prepare, to steady, and to comfort those closest to him before the you-know-what hits the fan.

“You have heard me say, ‘It’s going to be bad.’ I’m telling you again – it’s going to be bad – so that when the bad begins and when the bad overwhelms you, you’ll be prepared to hold on to love and remember that you’re not alone.”

Infectious disease experts are telling us that the bad will be with us for many months.

Climate scientists are telling us that the bad will be impacting human behavior for decades to come.

Psychologists are telling us that the bad could have generational consequences.

Genocide scholars and anti-racism activists are telling us that the bad will keep rearing its evil head, day after day.

“I’m telling you, ‘It’s going to be bad,’ so that you’ll be prepared to hold on to love and remember that you’re not alone. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

Friends, it’s bad these days – for a lot of reasons. Many of us feel unprepared. Instability is on public display when we most need steadiness. Comfort seems to be practicing social distancing.

Keep holding on to love.

Remember that you’re not alone.

Keep holding on to love.

Remember that you’re not alone.

Prayer
It’s bad, Jesus. It’s really bad, and the end isn’t in sight. Let there be love, for the living of each day. Let there be solidarity, for the perseverance of healing.

dd-hackenberg.jpgAbout the Author
Rachel Hackenberg serves on the national staff for the United Church of Christ. She is the author of Writing to God and Denial Is My Spiritual Practice, among other titles. Her blog is Faith and Water.

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