So, what have we learned about ourselves over the last six months? Maybe this: Though we may not like to go without some things and certain activities, we can persevere through. I am told by those who experienced the absence of supplies, services, and mobility during WWII, that we have had it very easy. We may grumble and we may fume over the unfairness of it all, but all in all, we are doing very well.
What have we learned about our neighbors over the last six months? For the most part, they are little different from us. Some have followed the guidelines passed on to us from our government and some have not. Some remain kind and caring while some react with varying degrees of displeasure even to the point of acts of violence. To understand why would require a great deal of investigation into histories and backgrounds, and that is probably more than most of us want to know.
What have we learned about our church over the last six months? Despite not being open to in-person worship or gatherings beyond family groups, it remains a symbol of our connection to God. We take pride in it when we hear or read its name. We are thankful for its presence and impact upon our lives when we drive by. We give thanks for all that it has meant in our lives and we look with anticipation to how it will be part of our future.
At the same time, it has resisted our efforts to bend it to our will. We have desired a place of safety from the coronavirus; it has not protected us. We have wanted it to be a symbol of our independence; it has offered us no such standing. Instead it calls us to release our hold on self-direction and walk in the way of our Lord. Instead of our personal wisdom, it calls us to listen to the one who has our greatest good at his heart.
So, what have we learned about God over these last six months? Personally, that God has the intention of blessing us at every point in our lives. When our kicking and struggling are quieted, when our mouths cease protesting, when our hands change from clenched to open, when our breath slows and is evident only in a sigh, God steps in to comfort and reassure us. When our needs rise from our hearts, God hears and gives us what is best though it may not be what we thought we needed. In this we are reassured that God remains the one who loves us, heals us, helps us, forgives us, and strengthens us to go into the world, to those who are hurting as we are, crying as we are, and seeking answers as we are.
There we bear witness to grace and mercy beyond measuring. There we point to the one who has been help when we could not accomplish it ourselves, healing for all of our hurts, and the source of hope that we will make it to the other side.
This Sunday is World Communion Sunday and a perfect time to remember that we are all in this together, wherever we live on this planet we call earth. May our worship be praise to God for the mercy we have known.
O Come, let us Adore Him!
Pastor Braxton ><>