The closing of our community hospital has been on my heart and in my prayers the last days, and months.  The loss of this place which served and cared for so many, for so long is devastating.  It is an injustice and a tragedy and puts a real face to the health care crisis that our country faces. 

This coming Sunday, at St. Peter’s and many other congregations, we will read Isaiah 51, where the prophet dares to proclaim:

For the LORD will comfort Zion (and Plainfield), the Lord will comfort her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD;

joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

These words were proclaimed to the people in exile, telling of the promise and presence of God even in the midst of injustice.  These words spoke to me this week, daring to proclaim that even in places that the corporations and politicians may claim to be “waste places,” God is bringing about a new thing. We hear the sure promise that God will bring joy and gladness and justice.  

It is this promise that was evident, I believe, as the community gathered together to speak out, to care for one another, to advocate for the poor and the elderly and the sick. It is this promise and God’s power that was evident in the ways that people from all over the region stood with Plainfield and for the good of the people.  And it is this promise which continues to inspire and motivate the people of this community to work together that we might all experience the joy and comfort that is God’s longing for all God’s people.

-Pastor Sara