From Brett Rutledge
I’ll be honest with you all . I have spent the last two weeks STRUGGLING with motivation. The honeymoon phase of working from home is over and I’m ready to be back out in the world again. Not to a point of willing to risk both my health and the health of everyone around me, but as the summer would normally have been kicked off this weekend, it’s hard not to think about the difference between years past and our now COVID world. 

Instead of packing up my classroom, it sits as an abandoned shrine full of half-finished projects with the names of students who will no longer be mine. In August, we will hopefully reenter the shell of a school but only after a with an entire reset button has been pushed. This unknown realm has pushed me into a new fear most of us have been unfamiliar with until now. This time has been so frustrating for those of us that love to move constantly. 

This fear is something that reminds me of Sunday’s story of the Ascension. In the time between Jesus rising from the dead and before he ascended into heaven, his disciples waited for Jesus to rescue them as if he was a superhero. They looked to him to figure things out and fix things for them. However, not once in the Gospels did Jesus promise to fix things for us. Instead, he promises to be with us in the midst of those things. 

The Ascension shows Jesus leaving the disciples, but only in flesh. More importantly, his returning to heaven demonstrated faith in God to the disciples. He was no longer physically present with them. Together with God they can do what Jesus did, now that he is not here in body. Jesus led them by example and helped his disciples to find the faith. By leaving his disciples only in flesh, he shifted from a superhero to the God they needed to trust their faith in – the faith that took away all their fear. 

As we read in Chapter 28 of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says, “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 
This time is scary and new and exhausting. This week was predicted to be full of storms and I was braced for it. I adopted a puppy just before things shut down, a four-month-old black lab mix that I’ve named Fig. If I didn’t have Fig constantly begging to be walked and played with, I’d be at a standstill. The fact that someone else is constantly demanding attention forces me to stay motivated and moving. We try to hike most days. So far we’ve found more time at Creve Coeur Lake followed by sunburns than time spent inside because of this “stormy weather.” 
Today, I’m grateful for this constant reminder to get up and move. I’m striving to be less fearful like the disciples once they knew God was with them. I refuse to be tied to the idea that through Zoom and other media we will be in the same boat we were before this, it’s a different world and it’s okay to be exhausted by it. Remember that we always have God with us, in the promise made by Jesus, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  

  • Be on the look out for a phone call from Church Receptionist Becky Arthur or other staff members, as we update our Realm directory.