Rev. Allen Mothershed
Strange Days - Opportunity Waits
These are strange days. Never can I remember saying, “We will not have worship on Sunday. Don’t come to the church.” I am not used to refusing my hand to people I greet or not hugging people who like to be hugged. I can never remember counseling a person feeling down and anxious to “isolate themselves.” Nor have I ever had to tell my child, “No, you cannot have your friends over for a birthday party.” But such are the days we are learning to live in now. What is usually the proper act of showing love, now may be the very act that can cause harm.
I don’t know anyone now who is not disoriented by what is happening. Every day we face decisions about the right thing to do when even the authorities who struggle to give us the best advice may not be in perfect agreement. We are all rethinking what it means to love each other in ways that go against our usual habits and expectations. What is now required of us is to be creative in how we stay connected and live our lives. We cannot succumb to anxiety and totally isolate ourselves from each other. In a time when we are putting a limit on being connected to each other, we need each other more than ever.
I am thinking now what we as a church can do and what I need to do to be the beloved community, the church family we treasure so much. I have some suggestions and would like to hear your suggestions.
• Take this time as an opportunity to reflect and pray in ways you have not done before. You are not alone. God is with you and grace is all around you. In silence and aloneness, we may find a word of love and comfort we have not felt because we were too preoccupied with doing. This is our time, like the Hebrew people leaving Egypt who were disoriented but discovered that God was providing bread every morning and quail on the weekends.
• We have these wonderful device called phones. Remember them? Maybe take time to talk rather than to text or email. Maybe it's time to even FaceTime a friend or loved one. It is a wonderful time for writing an actual letter.
• It’s also warming up. Time to move into the great outdoors and receive its gifts. Look up at the stars at night, feel the breeze in the day, watch signs of Spring emerge. In creation’s grandeur, anxiety and worry have a way of fading away.
• Go to the church’s website each Sunday and listen to the sermon and prayers. We can keep our commitment to each other by keeping, in a different way, our weekly commitment to worship.
• Pick up and the phone and check on each other. I plan to do this a lot. Just check in with those who may need checking-in on. It’s an act of kindness that in these days are as loving as a warm embrace.
• Let me know your prayer concern or family concerns. We can talk most any time by phone 630.441.5962 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
• Take care of yourself and be safe. We are in this time together. There may be weeks when we don’t have worship - but we always have church.
Special Message (re COVID-19)