Weekly Reflection, Friday, July 23
By: David May
I’m not exactly sure which Sunday it was – sometime this past winter. We were in the worst time of the pandemic with case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths soaring each day. We were, of course, not gathering in person inside or out; all of our services were pre-recorded. So that particular Sunday morning, I got a cup of coffee and clicked on our Facebook link to watch the service.
To be perfectly honest with you I didn’t have much of ‘a hop in the step of my spirit’ at the prospects of sitting there alone to watch the service on my phone. In fact, I felt pretty blue at the prospects. But Emmy sat down next to me and then everything started to change.
In the announcements, I was reminded that the Fellowship Committee was cooking a take home parish supper for the coming Wednesday evening. It meant that folks would be in the kitchen and cars would be lined up to pick up dinner and that we’d get to see each other.
As the service went along, there was the face of this person reading the lesson from the Scriptures; a person who wouldn’t have done that during ‘regular times.’ Then came all the faces of the choir members singing the psalm. In ‘regular times’ we wouldn’t have seen their beautiful, expressive faces. Then another face – this time a child in the parish – reading the Gospel for the day. Again, it was a person who wouldn’t have read the Gospel reading during ‘normal times.’ And after the sermon, two young people offered our prayers which made my spirit soar – even watching on my stupid phone!
By this point, I had gotten, I’ll admit it, weepy. From joy. My spirit was all filled up.
During this past year, a part of what kept us all ‘filled up’ was all of the different faces and voices who probably wouldn’t have participated in ‘normal times.’ And that happened throughout all of our ministries. I think this fact, that so many of us participated in the life of our parish is how we got through these long times. And not just ‘got through,’ but got through with faith, hope, and love.
I don’t want to lose that as we move back towards a new ‘regular time.’ I hope more and more people will keep participating in all of the ministries of our church. As that happens, something becomes more alive in us, more breathed-through by the Spirit, and it makes our witness to the Gospel so much richer, fuller, and life-giving.
I want to encourage each of us, as God continues to regather the Beloved Community in Christ here at St. Mary’s, to think and pray about how God is calling you to participate in the life and ministry of our parish. How is the love of God calling love from you? – which is the basis for Christian ministry. My advice is to keep it simple. Just ask God: “Lord, what are you calling me to do at St. Mary’s? Please show me.”
God has given us a way to live during a worldwide pandemic with faith, hope, and love. If this is so, what gifts will be given during this coming season of regathering and new life? Come and see.