We have all had some grumbly, irritable moments during the pandemic, tempting moods for formulating our own amateur opinions as epidemiologists, and in my case, as a meteorologist. I’m thinking each week about the relative safety of all of worship, particularly indoors, and the relative discomfort of worshiping in the cold. This has been a season to realize that being alive is a risky proposition and that decisions are hard, as well as a time to remember that our discomfort (hot, cold, masks) is a minor thing compared to the suffering of so many others and to our privileges as recipients of God’s grace in Christ.
Roger Keane, one of our three Wise Men from the Feast of Lights, wrote a reframing piece about the challenges of worship right now: “What if instead of complaining about our masks, we just said, ‘here I am, with a mask on my face sitting 6 feet away from another family, to hear the word of God preached, to sing His praises, to join the body in prayer, as has been my honor and privilege every Sunday of my life in this free country.’” That’s the spirit I want to have, and ask God for, even as I join in the general grumble!
There was good news this morning of statistical indications that the pandemic might be peaking, that with vaccinations and the fading of holiday gathering infections, new light is shining. Pray that this will be so, but let us also resolve to continue our care for one another and our neighbors by remaining in those good practices that reduce the sharing of the virus. I’ve been pleased to hear how many of you over age 70 have been able to secure a vaccine.
We’ll have our usual indoor and streamed services this Sunday, at 8:00 and 10:30, and outdoor worship moves back to 9:30 AM. We’ll gather on the sunny side of the smaller parking lot area this week. A blanket for your lap might be a good idea! The outdoor service will move to late afternoon once a month, tentatively planned for February 7 and March 7. We had a joyful and beautiful experience of outdoor worship last week, with a pink evening sky, warm music, the rise of the moon, and birds swirling toward their nightly roost.
Hang in there, be a person of prayer and Christian resolve, and know that God never stops working his purposes out in the world he so loves. Nicholas †