This virus is terrible. Millions are infected, and thousands are suffering and dying. It is crippling economies, causing countless people to lose their jobs, losing any security they had. It is forcing individuals into unsafe and abusive situations. For many, their mental health is suffering.
However, some things aren’t all that bad. Some have found that slowing down has been good. Pollution levels have dropped in many parts of the world. People (for the most part) are following the rules, and are looking out for each other – helping both friends and strangers.
Which of these realities are true?
It is OK to be devastated by this situation. It is Ok to be appreciating certain aspects. It is even OK to do both.
As people of faith, I think we can hold that tension; we are well-versed in paradox.
For me, it has been really nice reaching new people through our online services, and, I have been struggling with the extra time and energy it takes to put them together. I have enjoyed attending services with communities across the country, and, I have been missing gathering with you all in-person on Sunday mornings. I have been inspired by people’s generosity and adopting new ways of giving online, and, I am facing the possibility of a difficult time financially for our parish.
These can all be true, and we can honour them. We can offer these things to God, for God is in and moving through all of it.
One of the opportunities that I see right now, for all of us here at St. John’s, is the opportunity to invite someone to check out our community. It takes a lot of courage to invite someone to church, and it might take even more courage to actually come. However, at this time, online, I think makes it a little easier, removing some of the barriers, for all involved.
Remember, however you are, however you are feeling, you are beloved; you are God’s very own for ever, and ever, and ever, and ever…
Thanks be to God!