As I write this page for our March newsletter it dawned on me that it has been almost a year since the global pandemic was first felt by many of us. My family witnessed the last Cavs home game before the season was suspended last March. The grim milestone of half a million deaths has just been attained in the US with many more deaths around the world. So much of our lives has been impacted, jobs have been lost, schools have been affected , social isolation has become the norm. The phrase “I have finished Netflix” belies this truth of isolation and hunkering down mentality.
The need for human connection and relationships has not wavered, but our means of safely going about these essential aspects of our lives has changed. The need to wear a mask, to keep a safe distance, to wash our hands properly, is so ingrained in our lives that I wonder if some parts of this will stay with us into the future. I am asked all the time when we will get back to normal, as if an old normal will be what should try to get back to.
The need to be creative and flexible, nimble and agile in the living out our Christian faith is one of the most important truths that we can glean from our shared experience of a global pandemic. Anxiety and fear could have stopped us in our tracks, but we have been the church in the midst of it all. This is only possible in the grace of love of God that never wavers or forsakes us.
Another truth that this pandemic has graphically illustrated is our need for each other, that the life God gives is one that calls us into community, into the world, into the various spaces of our daily lives. How do we do this in the midst of a deadly virus? The answer is any way that we can, to show God’s amazing grace and unconditional love in the person of Jesus Christ. As our lives keep witnessing more and more things return to some of state of normalcy, we can take hope in the promises of God. The Holy Spirit is at work calling, gathering, enlightening, and sanctifying us and the whole Christian community throughout the world.
“We love because God first loved us.”(1 John 4:19)
Living in God’s amazing grace,
Pastor Matthew Groenke