From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 5th Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

We made it! One full week since last week when we started meeting (mostly) only online for worship and whatever else, and hey, we haven’t imploded! That is a good sign. Sure, some of us might be going crazy from being cooped up inside the whole time, some might be tearing out their hair because their kids are going crazy from being cooped up inside the whole time, and still some of us are just livid at the people walking around outside and avoiding being cooped up inside the whole time.

Personally, I’ve had a mix of both. I’ve been trying to stay home as much as I can, working from home and spending a lot of time using the technology that we have, but for whatever strange reason I keep forgetting stuff at the church that I need to go pick up and what have you. This led to pretty long days and very short nights (of sleep). I know I’m not the only one out there, so this isn’t a “woe is me” story, but rather a story of solidarity and me saying, “I hear ya and I’m with ya” kind of thing.

After I got home (about 4 hours later than I expected to be home) on Friday, I had some dinner and had this very ominous feeling that I was getting sick. Kind of like that calm before the storm and I was almost certain that I was going to wake up in the middle of the night with a fever or something. I’ve had this feeling before with the regular flu a couple times in the past, and I turned out being right… so needless to say all the videos and stories I’ve seen and read about people being sick started running through my head and I started getting really scared. Scared enough to tell my friends that if I were to die, one of them needs to come to our house and delete my browser history. So basically scared enough to still make jokes.

Anyway, my loving wife just told me to go to sleep. I’ve had a long week and I’m probably tired and delirious. I didn’t like the idea, but I did as she said. I went to bed at an unheard of 8:30pm, and after about 12 hours of sleep, 100+ texts, im’s, and emails, and over a dozen attacks on my base in the game I’m playing later, I felt a lot better.

This isn’t to say that we can just sleep off any infection that we may or may not have, but it is to say that whatever you are going through, whatever level of quarantine you’re practicing, whatever height of crazy you’re reaching, take time for yourself. carve out space to go offline and do something that gives you joy that is only for you. Be it sleep, listening to music, reading a book, or just being outside (spaced away from others) to just be and enjoy nature. Whatever it is, I strongly encourage you to do it.

For I believe even in all this that seems like death, there is life. And this is the life that God gives to us abundantly.

Here are the readings for next week.
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
John 11:1-45

Resurrection is a strong image for us who share this faith. The idea that death has no power over the gift of life is a one that will carry us through times such as these. The belief that life and love can be eternal, and nothing thrown at it can be stopped, fills us with a confidence that even death (or quarantine) cannot shake.

In these uncertain times, it’s this promise of life that gives us hope. It reminds us that we are not abandoned by our God but lifted up out of the depression, out of the ashes of death, and brought into the light of God’s love.

This isn’t to say that we are immune to the coronavirus and we should just act irresponsibly and impose on other people’s space and start licking door handles or anything like that. But it does mean that we can be immune to the fear, the anxiety, and the debilitating isolation we might feel when life (like right now) gets too tough or stressful.

Personally, I’m very grateful for this gift given to us by God. I’m thankful for all the technological advances that we have today to stay connected and and in community. And I praise God for all of you, for staying engaged, for keeping the faith, and just for being you. You, as a dear child of God, are beloved and worthy and given God’s favour to last us through this pandemic and beyond. Even in death, there is life. Let us hold onto and cherish that life, that we can share this joy with all whom we (virtually) meet.

Peace be with you both now, throughout this coronavirus situation, and always!

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