From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 9th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

I can’t believe we’re looking at August already. I know, it’s just following the natural progression of time, but still it seems fast to me. It’s been 4 and half months since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, it’s been 20 Sundays since we started worshipping together online, it’s been 32 days since my kids were let off school, and only been about 390 hours since I came back from holidays.

Yet, fatigue will come still. Even as I type, my kids are kicking at my heels asking to go outside to play in the pool you saw from last week. Even as I get ready to stop work for the day, my mind looks ahead to the week and wonders how I’ll be able to finish all my tasks in the allotted time. Even as I feel the cool summer breeze wafting into my home office and I gaze out the window at the blue skies somewhat (90%) blocked by our neighbour’s house, I can’t help but think that summer is almost over and we’ll be back in bad weather and stuck indoors without a cheap plastic inflatable pool to play in.

Morbid? Maybe. Realistic? Sort of. Hopeful? Not really.

The thing is, time never lets up. Things keep moving. Life never lets up. Things keep happening. Kids never let up. They always want something more. The point I’m trying to make, however, is that we will always have more to give as well.

Maybe that is being optimistic. Or maybe it’s because God promises us strength and drive and resolve. Or maybe it’s because my wife just made a fresh thing of lemonade and you know what to do when you’re handed lemons.

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 55:1-5
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

You know, Jesus didn’t have it easy either. His friend (some might even say mentor) was just executed and Jesus just wanted to be alone. You might know that feeling, when you are so emotional, so worn out and beat up that you want to be alone, that not even your closest friends could cheer you up. So we see Jesus retreating from his disciples to be alone but then had to deal with about 5000 strangers, not including women and children.

But did Jesus turn them away? No, he could have and perhaps even should have, but his compassion was his drive. His empathy for those who were hurting became his strength. His love for the lost gave him ability to dig deep and find more to give.

Now, this isn’t to say that we should purposely burn ourselves out to be like Jesus. But it’s to say that when we might feel tapped out, there is more to be found. When we feel empty, God’s love can fill us back up. When we feel like we are completely at the end of our rope and we have nothing left to give, there is more to be found in God’s abundant grace that strengthens us, that resurrects us, that gives us new life.

Again, don’t get me wrong, taking breaks are important. We need to rest our bodies and souls. But don’t think that when you cannot, for whatever reason, take those breaks, that God has in any way, shape, or form has abandoned you. Rather, God remains present and ready to give you more and help you through.

This bit more can be in the form of a community of support, a life-giving activity, or (somewhat ironically) a well-deserved and much needed time of rest. Whatever it is, we can rest assured that even when we have nothing left to give, God has much more left for us in the abundance of blessing, joy, and love.

So I guess we need to enjoy this weather while it lasts! But of course we also need to stay safe, kind, and calm because there is still this pesky pandemic going around.

Have a great week, everyone!

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