It’s hard to believe that it is already August and yet, in some ways, for some of us, the time has dragged on since March, when COVID 19 arrived in New York State. Our lives have changed so dramatically since then. It seems that we are doing everything differently whether in our homes or outside of them.
The school districts around us are working on plans to reopen safely. How can this be done? Will their plans be approved by the state? Will teachers and staff feel safe back at school? I do not envy any of you who have or are working with school-age children right now. Our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews have struggled in these months of isolation. Hopefully the chorus of “I’m bored” hasn’t rung too loudly as it usually does when the summer draws to a close.
Are you finding you are struggling with anxiety, even when you feel fairly safe? Some people are having strange dreams. What makes me anxious is that I may be missing something. By doing worship and preaching differently, not being able to visit people in their homes, I keep wondering what else I can do. And yet, this is when I most have to reach out to God, trusting that God will direct me through these times of uncertainty.
We are preparing for returning to indoor, in-person worship after Labor Day. Our Re-opening Committee has been meeting and praying and working on how to do this safely. We are already having in-person, physically distanced, council meetings.
These months have provided a time that I have been encouraged into greater devotional time with our Lord. I, who am decidedly not a morning person, have found myself waking up well before Ray, the dogs, and the cat. So, I’m spending the time in quietness, which I find difficult; reading and praying. As an ADD extrovert, my mind is always busy. I’ve been able to quiet it a bit. This time has drawn me into a closer relationship with God. I would encourage you to take
time away from everything and spend just a few minutes in God’s presence.
As creatures hard-wired to be in relationship with others, connectedness with God makes all our other relationships better. Jesus is our ultimate friend. As we miss being with friends and family, draw closer to God. Then connect with your loved ones in other ways: email, phone calls, a card, texting. It may not be the same, but it can help. And you know, God already knows how you feel, but tell him about your feelings.
Last week’s second lesson, Romans 8:26-39 becomes even more appropriate in times like these. What especially stands out is:
35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or
famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am
convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to
come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to
separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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