“Nancy [Kashan], this is awesome! The sound is loud! Everything is Perfect! Thank you so much”, wrote Diliana. What is so special about this quote? It represents the work that goes into to each week’s filming of the Sunday service. On a bigger scale, it represents what the church staff, church council, and key volunteers have been doing since the beginning of Covid 19.
As Janice Aldridge says, “We are building this bus while we are driving it.” From a theological perspective, it is a theme in scripture from the opening pages to today as we live God’s mercy every time we open our eyes to a new day.
From the first time in March when I realized that this virus was more serious than I first thought, I knew deep down we were in an historical moment. As soon as I realized that church services in the sanctuary would have to be closed down as well as all meetings that took place in the church facility, I knew a plan of action needed to be put in place. I gathered the staff in the office and I told them, “What we do in this moment of time will be how we are remembered when we come back.” I knew what I was saying but only later did I fully understand the implications of that statement.
Coronavirus or no coronavirus, life goes on. Every day since making that statement, I have learned what those words meant. How we operate now is different, but
we do operate. Figuring our way through worship services, caring for the sick, ministering to the poor, taking care of the church property, communicating to the members, caring for self has been a daily process. To be certain, this has been true for all of us.
During all of this, the central part of who were are has not changed a bit. We are still simultaneously “saint and sinner”. We are “guilty of sin and forgiven” all in the same breath of God. We struggle everyday with others and ourselves. Most of our lives have been on line and we have learned things about ourselves and each other that have led some to just remove themselves from communicating by social media.
Social media is much like the party line at my grandmother’s house when I was a youngster and would pick up and listen in on other people’s conversations without sharing I was listening. The big difference is that we know other people are listening and still we write what we write anyways. And yet…. God forgives!
God makes new every day. As the church, at large and on the local level, in every context that you can imagine, seeks to do what God has called us to do: proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed, we are guided every second by the Holy Spirit. That call to be God’s people to the world involves every emotion you can imagine. Have you (like me) cried, yelled, given up, prayed, gone silent, ached with agony, laughed, screamed with excitement, lingered in complete silence, etc? Then you have known and experienced life.
In the next days, weeks, and months, we don’t know what each day will be like. If we are honest with ourselves, we have never known what each day would be like. What is true, and has been since the first pages of Genesis, is that God is with us. Even
though Adam and Eve broke their promise with God, He continued to walk with them.
Today as you read this it is just another day to proclaim God’s story of Hope through your online post and your interactions with others. We will all share the same air that God provided to His creation from the beginning.
Wear your mask as one act of love for another, so that in the off chance a virus is being transported in that breath, it will be stopped, and a person who is more vulnerable than you will live to see another day.
Today, (July 2) I will go to Garden Plaza and participate in a birthday parade for Foster Aldridge. He is turning 90. As he stands on his balcony from his room, cars will drive by, blow their horns, yell out our windows, sending him well wishes. We will celebrate life, that precious gift from God. Coronavirus or no Coronavirus, God’s love marches on!
In His Service Pastor Bob