Well folks, we seem to be, at least for our own lifetime, in unprecedented times. While there may be other parallels that some of us remember (the polio scare of the 1950’s comes to mind) nonetheless, for me personally, this is a momentous change in my lifestyle and more importantly in my pastoral life.
The hardest part for me has been the lack of face-to-face contact with the congregation I am charged with leading and caring for. As I preached last week on the Fox Run Farm with sheep in the background, talking about what it is like for us as believers to have someone, Jesus our great shepherd, watching over us, I was struck by my own desire to be the same to all of you and felt how hard it was to be that person when I couldn’t shake your hand, give you a hug, or visit with you in person. Yet, the regular communication I have gotten from many of you about our virtual worship, the content of the liturgy and particularly the location of many of the settings has given me steam to keep going. I pray that you have had some similar things in your own lives as you and I have pretty much shut down our normal social interactions and stayed home, getting to know our families much better, perhaps in some cases, too much better.
We are in the midst of new things, and we find it hard to predict how they will affect our future. Yet, as I will speak to this Sunday’s talk, our foundation is in Christ. He is our cornerstone; it is He upon whom we rely and rest. Unlike last week, where our shepherd walked next to us, leading us to green pastures, watching over us in tough times (valley of the shadow of death), using his staff to both protect us and curb our unhealthy ways, in contrast to that metaphor, we’ll be looking at how we have been given a foundation that weathers all the storms and life’s vicissitudes.
The talks over the last several weeks, beginning with Easter and continuing through the next few weeks up to Pentecost, have been designed to help us draw closer and closer to God and Jesus. Through the resurrection appearances and the disciples’ own experiences, particularly Peter’s, we have seen how we can be close to our Lord and Savior.
As my time here at Glen Moore is drawing down, know that I have treasured my journey with you all. I have shared my own prayers and concerns with you in worship, and I have felt uplifted by your prayers. In turn, you have all been on my heart and in my prayers. Please continue to join our virtual worship. We are on both Facebook and our Glen Moore UMC website. May you continue to walk with God in all you do.