[Pastor's Newsletter Article for May 2020]
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. – Romans 8:18-21
We live in a world that spends much of it’s time trying to avoid pain. That is not an allegation, or horrible circumstance, as much as it is a truth for us as an “Old Adam” or “Old Eve.” That “Old” part of us that has been with us since Genesis chapter 3. The “Old us” that wants to live and yet finds it so hard to do so on our own. That is the mortal “us.” The “us” that sees a pandemic come and we fear our own death at the hands of something we cannot see or control. That is the difficulty of life, that God’s grace has granted us protection from for so long, but now the reality for many of our brothers and sisters around the world has come to us as the truth of groans of all creation awaiting the new creation to be born. The “new you” being raised from the dead, from our mortality, to glory in the God who frees us from the shackles of disease and death.
In this "corona-time", so much has been written about grief. The grief of losing the normal. The grief of missing our families and friends because we are told they are too dangerous to be with right now. The grief of losing our jobs. The grief of losing loved ones and not being able to say goodbye because we can't be there for the funeral, or the funeral has to be put-off until a crowd larger than ten people can join in the memorial. The grief of lost vacation time. The grief of the over-worked hospital worker. The grief of trusting the government to care for us and then fail.
[Pastoral Article for April Newsletter]
“’Son of man, can these bones live?...I replied, “Lord God, only you know.” – Ezekiel 37:3
In my pastoral biography, I write about myself that, “He often wonders if he was a monk in a former life.” I have always said that jokingly, but never imagined that it would almost come true. We are living at such a “Medieval” time, in which we await the passing of a plague, are relegated to isolation or segregation, and fear the unknown of what might be.