We may fail, God does not
We may end, God does not.
Bless, and be blessed. @woodlake books www.seasonsonline.ca
These are the words that have ended our worship service with for the past several weeks. Next, we move into the season of Lent, when we remember that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. Though we are living in different and exhausting times, the rhythms and cycles of the church year continue to sustain us. We all make mistakes and can learn from them. Some day, each of us will die.
I say this not to upset you, but to reassure you. We need not fear, because God is bigger than anything we are facing. God walks with us through the long arc of history. When we inevitably make mistakes, God works with us to make good come out of it all anyway.
We are being forced to face our mortality because of the pandemic, but it is nothing new. Trees die, even stars and galaxies die, but God’s love endures forever.
We have been blessed by God, and God asks us to be a blessing. We can do everything in our power to promote flourishing - life in its fullness. Right now, that means we do everything we can to preserve life and health.
When COVID spreads in our community, we may not know it until it has a foothold. So we do what we can. Stay home. Listen to the health authorities. Despite our best efforts, some people will die - but we’ll do all we can to keep the number low, and we support the grieving. Some people will lose independence and need to move for long term care. We will love and support them through that transition. That is the way . . . of Jesus.
It is also the way of Jesus as we patiently wait our turn to choose our bagels so we aren’t crowded in the grocery store. It is the way of Jesus when we attend that zoom baby shower, so those precious new great nephews aren’t at risk. (Welcome to Ben and Tyler in Ontario, and congratulations to my nephew and his partner.)
The way of Jesus is the way of the cross. We sacrifice our rights for the well-being of others. We stand up to the powerful to protect the weak. We consider others ahead of ourselves. If someone is at greater risk, they get the vaccine first. It is grace, not merit. We save the lives of the most vulnerable, not the most worthy.
We make our lives a blessing. It is the way. (But please spoilers, I’m not done season 1 yet).
Liz Carter-Morgan, St. Paul's United Church