WORD FROM THE PASTOR
I’m ready for this to be over. I’m ready for Covid to be over. I’m ready for us to gather as we once did and to sing together and to hug each other. I’m ready for our world to be in unity about how to show our care for one another. I’m ready for God’s will, God’s Kingdom to reign over us and be a part of us. I’m ready, because I’m done.
Over the past seven months we have tried to find ways to stay connected while being a part. Over the past seven months I’ve learned more about new technology than I ever thought I would. Over the past seven months I have had to adjust how to do a ministry I love in way that is very different from my comfort zone. Over the past seven months I’ve had to spend more time at my computer and less time in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I’m done. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’m overwhelmed.
“The light shines in the darkness…” I feel an overwhelming darkness. I feel like a darkness of isolation, self-sympathy, and individualism has begun to take over. Yet, there is a light. There is the light of God’s love. There are moments of understanding, grace and service. There are moments of unexpected acts of kindness. There are moments of intimate connection even through a video screen. There is a light.
“…and the darkness did not overcome it.” I am grasping. I have been unable to visit my family since July. I have been unable to hug those who have lost loved ones. I have been unable to meet everyone’s needs in the way each one expects; and I am beginning to feel the darkness overcoming my light. Then, I see the smiles. Then, I get a card. Then, I participate with colleagues from across the country and beyond. Then I remember that God is not only God of creation, but a God nearby.
So now I wait. I wait to return to what we once had. I wait for the vaccine to become widely available. I wait to be able to visit in person with my family and friends. I wait on God to bring us out of this dark time. How do I wait? I wait with hope. I wait with anticipation. I wait in the light of God’s love.
As we come into an Advent and Christmas season which will be like no other we’ve ever experienced we have a choice. We can focus on what we don’t have, what we have lost, the things about which we have no control and sit in our own self-pity, or we can hold them up to God. We can look at what is to come for this time too shall pass. One day we will be able to be together singing, hugging, and enjoying a meal together. We can look for the opportunities to create new and just as meaningful traditions for ourselves. We can be open to new ways in which God might be working among us.
We still have the opportunity to celebrate the coming and arrival of Jesus into our world. We can invite Jesus into our homes and into our hearts again this year. Just as Jesus came into the lives of Mary and Joseph in the midst of challenge as they traveled to a new place and had to create a new life, Jesus comes into our time of challenge and this new way of life. May we open ourselves up the continued blessings of God. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
In Christ’s service,