Returning to a Regular Routine

Weekly Reflection, Friday, July 22

By: David May

I’m almost embarrassed to say how disoriented I became during periods of time in 2020 and 2021. I had trouble tracking simple things like, what month is it?! Or, I’d think I had talked with someone months ago and it would end up that it was just last week. Things like that. I know I wasn’t alone in that, but it really bugged me. I think my disorientation stemmed mostly from all the regular routines and habits of our lives being upended, over and over again.

It was that. But for me, there was something else too. Because for so long most of our worshipping life was virtual or prerecorded (or, frankly things we completely made up as we went along!). Through that we sort of lost track of the seasons of the Church Year. I missed Advent. And Lent. And All Saints Sunday. Maybe that’s especially true because I’m a parish priest. Except that I’ve always treasured the seasons of the Church Year. Passing from Advent to Christmas or Lent to Easter tells my soul who I am. It strengthens my faith and energizes my spirit to be about God’s work in this world. The seasons of the Church Year help me inhabit the life of Christ and put me on my feet to be in the world in a different way, like seeing Christ in the face of a stranger, or remembering to love my enemy, or seeing how precious the outcast is to the Lord.

In a way, we began to reclaim celebrating and observing the seasons of the Church Year a little closer to normal this past Lent. It has felt good. But I also see that whether we are reclaiming the regular round of our sacramental life or adjusting to new habits in our day to day lives, we’re still making our way back to our lives in some ways.

There is polling out there that suggests a significant percentage of people who had regular habits of going to church before COVID, will probably never return to their regular habits on Sunday morning. I don’t know. Maybe that’s true.

For my part, I’m just grateful to be pretty clear that it’s July. That this Sunday I’ll be in church singing hymns with other people, listening to Jesus tell another parable of the Kingdom, praying for forgiveness with the hope that God won’t give up on me. I’m grateful for the pattern of being here on Sunday morning that puts me back together in ways that I may never fully understand. But it puts me back on my feet and in this world in a different way, to have one foot in this world and one foot in the world to come, praying that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.