When we began Lent on March 1, we had no way of knowing what this Lenten season would hold for us. That seems like ages ago.
A few verses from Psalm 118 have continued to rise within me each day:
Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s love endures forever. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Sometimes we have to tell ourselves the truth – no matter what the circumstances. This is one of those times. Give thanks. God is good. God’s loves endures. Each day belongs to God. Rejoice. Be Glad in the day God has made.
Rejoicing in times of great sorrow, great questions, great fear and great anxiety is counterintuitive. As I proclaim these verses daily, I realize just how counterintuitive it is to live these days with a sense of “rejoicing” as Psalm 118 suggests.
But here is what I have come to know: These bible verses are not trite clichés to help us escape the reality that our world has been turned upside down. Rather, it is a proclamation that God is in every single minute of every single day. God’s love is enduring, lasting, everlasting, able to withstand every kind of hardship that may come our way. Our gratitude comes when we realize just how REAL and GOOD this Love is. These days even our “rejoicing” might sound more like lament. Either way we turn to the One who has promised to be with us, our Shelter and our Provider.
A few updates:
Thank you all for continuing your regular giving. While we haven’t been all together on Sundays, I can assure you that our staff remains hard at work figuring out how to live into this new ministry context. I can and will share more later with you the specifics of all our staff has been doing. I am incredibly proud of how we have pivoted to meet the present needs of our congregation AND our community. Thank you for your encouragement, your prayers and for all the ways you continue to give your time, energy, leadership, partnership and resources in our work together.
We will have an update on our finances in the weeks to come. In the meantime, you can click on the link below to give (or continue giving) through Church Center. Please feel free to contact Anne Tiernan if you have any questions. Her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also invite you to consider donating to the COVID-19 emergency fund, which is already providing local families with resources for groceries, transportation and assistance with utilities.
Click on the link below and follow prompts to the Community Assistance - COVID19 Fund.
In the midst of great turmoil beautiful things are happening – both within our congregation and around us with our community partners. I can see that all of the work and the conversations we’ve had about centering the most marginalized, lifting up the vision of the Gospel fully alive, and our commitment to become a more just and faithful representation of God’s heart is bearing beautiful fruit in this time.
To our dear senior friends: we love you and we are thinking of you in this time – may you know God’s presence and peace each and every minute of your days. You remain on our hearts and minds, and we look forward to the day we can all be together again!
You’ve heard me say that the grace of God is like water that flows downhill and pools in the lowest places. If that is true, I hope we embrace these “low” places in search of the pooled up waters of God’s abundant and certain grace. I hope in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in us and between us to keep us close while we are distant. I hope we experience the deep transformation of our lives as we follow Christ together in this season of Wilderness Lent.