It’s Groundhog Day and the verdict is in – according to Shubenacadie Sam there’ll be an early spring and today, despite being a storm day, it’s like the movie Groundhog Day, the same as yesterday and the day before that and the day before that…
And yes, we’re all getting weary of our minimalist routines. Truth be told, in the Yellow level of recovery and even in the Orange Level, my life didn’t change much. In fact, in some ways, it even became busier and more stressful as I worked within the various, seemingly ever evolving restrictions and made distanced visits and attended to pastoral needs.
But I must confess, this Red level is really beginning to get me down: almost no in-person contact with those of either congregation, Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting interspersed with the dialing and ringing of the phone, and an ever growing realization that those I care for are being impacted in some very significant ways: cut off from senior family members as a result of border closures, having to grieve in isolation when a loved one dies, apart from family during lengthy hospitalization, additional burdens of caring for children while trying to work from home, employment insecurity as non-essential businesses are forced to close… and the list goes on…
All this while the news offers little that is hopeful: continuing increases in case numbers across the country, delays in vaccine shipments and the building of vaccine production facilities and the emergence of worrying variants to the original COVID-19 virus. What is one to do?
Perhaps the Psalm for this coming Sunday might offer you encouragement as it did for me:
The LORD lifts up the downtrodden and casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre. God covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills. God gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry. God’s delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor in the speed of a runner; but the LORD takes pleasure in those who live in awe, in those who hope in steadfast love. (Psalm 147)
The rain falls, the snow blows, the grass will be green again. Our life is not a race, a sprint to some finish line just over the horizon – but rather a marathon, a journey that is best made with a heart of gratitude, an orientation to awe and a commitment to love.
May it be so! Happy Groundhog Day!
Yesterday I was to Moncton for a medical appointment and found myself nursing a headache for the rest of the day and did not accomplish much of value at all. Today I am working from home enjoying the company of Jennifer and the girls as they are enjoying a snow day. This morning I will gather with the Preacher’s Help Group at 10:30AM and then likely spend the balance of the day working on the service for Sunday. The Worship and Sanctuary Committee meets at 4PM this afternoon via Zoom.
On Wednesday afternoon I’ll be hosting Coffee in the Office via Zoom from 1PM to 3PM. Click here and drop in and say hello! And then, at 5PM I’ll gather with others for our Virtual Community Meal at 5PM. This time together has been such a gift and there is room at the table for everyone! Come and check it out!
I’ll be at the office early on Thursday morning attending to a few items related to the installation of the harm reduction machine before taking part in a couple of meetings and making some pastoral calls. At 7PM on Thursday evening you are invited to join us for Beer & Hymns (Pandemic Edition) where we join together over a favourite beverage and create and sustain community!
Friday and Saturday will be regular days off and then we’ll gather in community on Sunday morning via Facebook Live at 10AM and explore one or more of the following texts! I do hope that you’ll consider join us! Community and Conversation will take place via Zoom immediately following the conclusion of the Sunday Gathering.