The Door is Open to Reshape our Future…

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, May 3, 2020

By: Wayne Dementi

We last met as a congregation in the church on Sunday, March 8. It was in the ensuing week that the world around us came to a staggering halt.

In our parish community we connected through technology as we continued our journey through Lent into Holy Week. We heard Christian Clergy around the world observe that what we were experiencing with Coronavirus was very similar to what was experienced during Holy Week itself – described as separation, uncertainty, and fear.

It is becoming clear that this “staggering halt” gives us an opportunity that we have never had before – the door is open to reshape our future together. This opportunity is evident in all aspects of our lives, and it certainly presents itself to life at St. Mary’s, too. Practically everything we practice is up for a fresh approach. I am reminded of our most generally accepted avenues of service: mission, ministry, worship, discipleship, and fellowship.

COVID-19 has affected each and every one of those areas. We have the challenge, and joy, of exploring how each of these might look in the future of St. Mary’s.

What now?

If our recent COVID-19 experience during Holy Week 2020 resembled the scriptural account, I wondered if the Gospel readings for the weeks after Easter offer some insight. What did they do? Here are some key words, and phrases, that caught my eye from each reading leading up to Pentecost:

+ John 20: 19-31 – “As the Father has sent me, I send you.”
+ Luke 24: 13-35 – “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon.”
+ John 10: 1-10 – “The sheep will follow the shepherd ‘because they know his voice.’”
+ John 14: 1-14 – “The one who believes in me will also do the work that I do, and in fact, will do greater works than these.”
+ John 14: 15-21 – “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever.”
+ John 17: 1-11 – “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

Indeed, we are in a period of reflection now, similar to the days and weeks following Easter in the scripture. We are strengthened by the insights offered by the Gospel during the period we are in now. We are ZOOMING and we are working hard. Through it all, though, we are also realizing that we have the unique opportunity of listening for God’s call in revealing our new life together in His Glory.