Dear Beloved Siblings in Christ,
Grace and peace to you all.
How are you all doing? I hope you are well. Someone commented the other day that time seemed to slow down in March and then speed up in April. I have also experienced this feeling of elasticity in time. It seems like it was just a couple weeks ago that I was trying to figure out how we could worship for Easter, and now the month of May is suddenly upon us. Maybe it's because a new routine has settled in.
Speaking of new routines, have any of you tried starting something new? At the end of March I looked around our yard and saw quite a few spots where nothing was planted so I decided to start a vegetable garden. It's been both a fun...and sometimes frustrating experience. Beginning on Easter Sunday, I have been giving small garden updates as part of the children's chat (however on May 3rd, LRCC will bring us the children's chat).
Why start a garden? Back in March, when we were uncertain as to what was happening and how long this would last (well I guess we are still a bit uncertain), I remembered a favorite quote attributed to Martin Luther. He actually didn't say it, but as tradition goes, he is still famous for it. The quote:
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces,
I would still plant my apple tree."
We always have hope. No matter what we face on any given day, we have hope. No matter what others are doing around us, we have hope. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans reminds us of this as he reminds us that we can grow through hardship.
"Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand;
and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that,
but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
hope does not disappoint us
, because God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
Hope does not disappoint. Hope is what keeps us going. Hope is what helps us to dream. Hope helps us to see. Hope can lead to discoveries and even to new paths.
My hope is that in this time that some are calling "the great pause," we are able to better experience God's presence, that in this slowing down we are refreshed, and that we are able to continually find ways to connect with one another.
Also, as I work on my garden or go out for walks and runs, I am grateful for our world. The beauty of God's creation is all around us and is an example of God drawing good things out of challenging situations, we can see that our planet is benefiting from the great pause. So, I also hope that we are able to use this pause to learn to be better stewards of what God has created so that we live in better harmony with all that lives around us.
Peace and love to you all,
PS: Instructions for joining in worship and other online activities are included in this newsletter. I hope that you will be able to join in worship. We celebrate Holy Communion each week and you are invited to join in this by having bread (or crackers) and wine (or juice) ready when you begin worship.