Pastor’s Corner October 2020
Fall is typically when things start up again. Of course, this fall, like most of this year, is not like other falls. Yes, things are starting up, but not the way they always started up before.
Schools have started, but many children are learning from home, via Zoom or some other platform, while some are doing in-person classes along with distance classes. Teachers have to find new ways to teach, while students have to figure out new ways to learn, and parents have to figure out, well, everything.
Church is no different. Here at St. Luke’s, we’ve resumed our Christian Education programs, but they’re different. We’ve met outdoors, sitting on folding chairs or blankets. We’re exploring our own forms of distance learning, too. Curriculums have had to be adapted and modified to meet new realities.
Worship is certainly different. We’re continuing to offer recorded worship on YouTube, also accessible through Facebook and our website, but we’ve also been worshiping outdoors, receiving communion in premade containers. Recently, we’ve tried doing worship in-person and indoors, always being aware of the need for safe distancing and other safe practices.
We will be seeking ways to reactivate much of our committee structure, too, as we seek to do ministry to the fullest extent, given the realities we have to live with these days.
Always, we live in hope that doctors and scientists will find long-term answers and solutions to COVID-19. We hope and indeed pray, for more effective treatments, and for a meaningfully successful vaccine, so that our lives may return to some semblance of what we used to consider so normal.
Through all of this, of course, there is the one true, lasting, eternal constant – the loving, abiding presence of God in our lives. Through the whole of this terrible pandemic, in the midst of a staggering loss of life and heart-wrenching trouble for so many, God has been with us. God has walked beside us, God has led us, God has comforted us, God has sustained us, God has inspired us, and God has lifted us up.
God is never more powerfully present in our lives than when we struggle. And now, as we struggle with so many new realities, so many new ways of living and being and doing, so many new challenges, we continue to live in the sure and certain promise of God’s abiding presence. The more we see the world change, the more we see our lives change, the more we need to know and believe that God is with us.
God is always with us. That is the unshakable truth. As we learn to adapt and change, as we learn new ways of living, as our lives find new normal and new balances, as we strive to make sense of all that has changed and all the will stay changed, the presence and love and grace of God remains ever constant. No matter what we face, no matter what betides us, we are held in the sure, safe, and loving arms of God.
So, as I‘ve said so often since March, be well, and be safe. Know that God is always with you, know that God is always filling you with healing love and renewing grace. Know that you are unconditionally loved and infinitely precious in the sight of God. Know that you are blessed every day. And knowing all this, strive always to be a blessing to others. See you in church!