Sisters and Brothers,
We are well into the penitential season of Lent, a good time for theological reflection and deepening of our spirituality. Although we do not have in-person gatherings these days, I do sense, from your communications, that we are making the effort, both individually and corporately, to draw nearer to the Lord and to stay in love with God. That is commendable.
This is indeed a challenging time as the COVID-19 crisis becomes protracted and such measures as physical distancing will continue for longer than we had hoped. However, we must always bear our District theme in mind- Trusting God Through Difficult Times: Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities.
Just as the health challenges provoked by this crisis stimulated the efforts of governments, benefactors, medical researchers and technicians to develop a family of vaccines, the first of their kind, to address current needs, so too must we respond and put our resources to work for good in God’s world. Let us, as we are led by the Spirit of God, be on the lookout for opportunities and new possibilities for Christian service. As we look inward this Lent and seek improvement in our spiritual fitness, let us not forget that service in our changing context remains the best avenue for working out our faith in God. Yes, let us pray more. Yes, let us give more- (I hope that someone new took up the challenge to tithe). But above all, let us serve God with all we’ve got; and that means serving others.
Let us not allow our spiritual muscles for praying, giving and serving to get rusty while we wait for things to “get back to normal”. Remember, a new normal awaits us. Things will never be the same again. The lessons that we are learning now are for our guidance into God’s future. Let us learn well and be prepared to act on what we learn.
Do the best you can as a Class Leader or Assistant Class Leader, or in whatever office you hold. Only do it better because you will now apply the sensitivity, skills and confidence you have acquired through life with COVID-19. This month, we start a round of statutory meetings. Maybe you have been newly appointed to an office / a committee. Come prepared to share. Come prepared to approach your task with the confidence that our God who has called you, is with us now, enabling us through the present difficulty to serve better than we did before. Let us trust God and be available to learn more and to serve better; and there will be no telling what God is going to do. The hymn writer, William Cowper (1731-1800), had this to say:
God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs and works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take. The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.
Voices in Praise # 266
Look up, even as you look around at the harsh realities we experience, as we encounter those grieving the death of their loved ones who were hurriedly taken away by death, as we meet those whose employment situation is worse that it has ever been, as we are questioned by those who believe that God had forgotten us.
Look up, I say, Sisters and Brothers, let us expectantly await God’s future; and even in the era of COVID-19, that future remains bright to the glory of God.
Yours in Christ’s service
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor.