The sanctuary is painted. The confirmands affirmed their baptisms. The community garden beds are being tended. (we still have about 10 left) The quilters are here every Monday. Bible studies are gathering regularly. Outside groups are coming into Schmidt Hall again. Attendance is slowly rising for in person worship. Things feel as if they are getting back to normal, the way they were. But is that what God is calling us to do?
We have all had a strange and difficult time these last 15 months. We have lost much, we have had to adjust, we have lost loved ones, we have had schedules and plans disrupted. Surely there is nothing wrong with taking some time to catch our breath. I believe strongly in sabbath rest. Without rest and renewal, we wear ourselves out and expect more of ourselves than God does. So, please pay attention to what you need to care for yourself and your loved ones; draw healthy boundaries.
Because if you do, you will be ready for the changes that lie ahead. We are now in the season of Pentecost, the season of the church year that celebrates the Holy Spirit’s movement in the church. And if you read your Bible, especially the book of Acts, you notice that the Holy Spirit is always, ALWAYS showing up in unexpected places and with unexpected people asking that the apostles do things they did not know they were called to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Holy Spirit showed up and just told us to keep doing what we are doing? I wish I could find the verse that read, “The Holy Spirit declared unto them, ‘Don’t change a thing. You’re fine.’”
Fr. Richard Rohr writes in his book, The Naked Now, (pg. 90) Once you know that the one thing the ego hates more than anything else is change, it makes perfect sense why most people hunker down into mere survival.
I would say, “all people” not just most. These last several months have taught us that we can be light on our feet, we can pivot, we can accept change and we can change to meet the challenges confronting us, we do not have to settle for survival. So, please keep praying for your church, and its leaders. Keep looking and listening for the Holy Spirit at work in and around you. God’s Holy Spirit will bless you (us) in ways you (we) cannot imagine!