Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~ Henry James
We are deeply into our summer days in this year of 2020. What a summer – one to remember for many reasons. If you can hold dear a summer afternoon in your heart, praise be to God! Your faith has made you well! This summer we have:
· Been awakened to our vulnerability to a virus that has demanded our attention and thus, we wear facial masks, use soap and water on our hands more often that every before, do not hug and shake hands freely as before the virus, and stand away from one another at a distance – when visiting or working
· Watched our high school and college graduates celebrate their accomplishments on line
· Held off on family gatherings and social interactions with friends, aka- staying home
· Held worship online, in the parking lot, and now back in the sanctuary with distance between us in the pews
· Been tested by the hundreds of thousands in our country for this virus
· Tended to those with the virus
· Witnessed voices being raised with the pandemic as background to speak of injustice across the nation –specifically for persons of color in this country of white privilege
· Seen our denomination respond to the pandemic and the social justice matters
· clung together in faith…
Prayerfully, we have clung together in our faith because no matter the challenge or circumstance, our Lord is steadfast, good, and true. We believe in the truth of the gospel in face of the challenges before us and can witness to our faith by our words, worship, and actions. We know that that even in the midst of this pandemic, the violence of injustice, the needs of the marginalized, and the broken-heartedness that surrounds us – we can call upon the power of the God to strengthen us to meet the needs that present themselves to us. We help one another. We hold fundraisers for the sustainability of our ministry in the community. We share garden vegetables, prayer, time, and support – in the name of Christ. We respond to God’s loving grace with as much grace as we can because this is how we love the Lord in return. And, we worship this loving God every day of our lives. We are Christians who live this truth in community, unity, and faith.
There is probably no time in recorded history that was without mighty challenges because it is a matter of where you focus your view. “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land’, Deut 15:11 Our spiritual ancestors knew challenges by the grace of God, too. We are not unique in our humanity and its community.
And so we continue to seek the love of God in all things, find our delight in the Lord on a summer afternoon with a tall glass of ice tea and a conversation with a friend on the phone, and a prayer that says, thank you. For the blessings of grace in the summer of 2020 that show in the joy of good health, for the brilliance of the scientists who seek a vaccine, for patience with one another, for perseverance to our faithful purpose, for justice over injustice, for the prayers of our hearts, and the company of our Lord, I, with you, praise God in all things.
In peace and love, Rev. Robin Blair, DMin