Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
Each Sunday we look forward to gathering together as we: we confess & hear the absolution of our sins, we sing songs of praise for God’s abundant gifts and mercy, we hear of God’s faithfulness to all of creation, we share in the tangible gift of God’s grace at the table through the bread & the wine, and we share in the community of Christ through one another’s presence.
With the incursion of COVID-19 the coronavirus, we were unable to participate in this weekly celebration yesterday, and with the most recent recommendations from the CDC, it may be some time before we will gather here in Faith’s sanctuary as the body of Christ. With these developments, I am reminded of the Psalmist cry in Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord?”
The season of Lent is a time of intentionality on savoring God’s desire to draw nearer to each of us. With more and more everyday routines coming to a temporary halt, we have an opportunity to quiet our souls and seek God in that stillness, listening for God’s voice. In the chaos of frequent-new information and recommendations, we ask God to quiet our restless hearts, knowing God is near and keeping watch over us and all of humanity. Daily God takes each by the hand and accompanies them in what lies ahead.
I invite you to use this time for prayer. Pray for those who have contracted and are vulnerable to COVID-19, pray for healthcare providers, scientists and government leaders, pray for those who provide our daily needs, and that all the needs of those who are lacking will be met. Also please pray for Deacon Shannon, myself, and our leadership team as we discern the best course of action in response to this pandemic and for our community as we navigate this new way of being together while physically apart. I would also encourage you to reach out to one another, friends, family, and neighbors. A simple phone call, text, or email can go a long way especially if one is experiencing isolation and loneliness.
In the days to come, Deacon Shannon and I will be putting together and organizing different ways in which we can continue to be Faith Lutheran from the safety of our homes. If you have any immediate needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or your Shepherding group leader. If you have any ideas of things you’d like to try, please let us know also. We’re in this together and with our every present God. We plan to use the Faith Talk Facebook group and email as our primary means of communication. While you might not be fluent in these communication tools, I would encourage you to give it a try as it is the most efficient means by which we can communicate and stay connected.
After pouring out emotions of pain, suffering, and confusion, the Psalmist ends Psalm 13 in this way, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart is joyful because of your saving help. I will sing to the Lord, who has dealt with me richly.” May you know God’s unfailing love and saving help wherever you’re at today, and may you share God’s unfailing love and saving help in whatever way you can. Know my prayers and love are with you all.