No, this is not the start of a joke…
At the Church of the Resurrection All-Church Gathering yesterday, Adam Hamilton spoke a little about his experience preaching at the Inauguration Worship Service. (You can view it at this link.) He described some of his anxiety as he ascended the podium just before beginning to speak. Once he began to preach, however, he said he felt a powerful presence like none other, like he was being lifted up by 1,500 people in prayerful support.
When he uttered those words, I could not get the image of Moses out of my mind from Exodus 17:11-12.
As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
I imagined the Resurrection congregation that was watching online as he preached, praying for Adam, and taking on the role of Aaron and Hur, lifting him up, and giving him strength.
During times of anxiety, sometimes I have felt a calming presence come over me, too, only later to find out that someone who knew I was undergoing something stressful had been praying for me. The power of prayer is mysterious, but difficult to deny.