“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32
We—and by “we”, I mean “I” – have talked an awful lot about the trials and tribulations of 2020, and we really don’t need to rehash them. Yes, that is part of the truth, but there is another part of the truth that we tend to leave out, especially when we are feeling the fear and despair of all that has been thrown at us.
That truth is the continued abundant blessings we have been given, as a world, as a nation, as a community, as a church, and as individuals. I want to share that part of the truth with you here.
In this time of chaos and uncertainty, besides our humanity, we now have another thing in common with every single person walking on this planet—the experience of this pandemic. Every single human has their own stories to share about their lived experience. We are not alone!
We have much to work on as a nation, and even in the difficulties and tragedies that continue to be thrown our way, we have been blessed with the opportunity to begin to make things right—to offer justice and equality in ways that we have been ignoring. The more we work toward justice and peace, the more God will bless us.
In this last storm, I watched our community gather in ways I haven’t experienced before. Again, everyone in our community was affected by this last storm in one way or another, and yet, neighbors helped neighbors, strangers prayed for each other, and a real sense of community was present, if even for a brief moment.
This is the most amazing! During this time of sheltering in place, we have raised enough money to replace the roof and take down the cross, to repair the hail damage on the shed and gutters; we have purchased a new sound/video system (which is just about complete!); continued to offer our pledges for the bills that our church has; held a paint party; continue to gather on ZOOM every other Wednesday evening; gather in person and on ZOOM for Bible Study; held our first ever Virtual Vacation Bible School with 3 other churches; and we endured 15 weeks away from one another—while still worshiping—thanks to technology.
This might be my favorite truth. We have grown, albeit with growing pains, but we have grown nonetheless. We have stretched our ideas past what we have always done, and what we have known, opening ourselves to new life. We have used the creativity that God instilled in us. While we are rebuilding life, which can be hard, we are being given the opportunity to play! Think about it, in the beginning when God created everything, do you really think God stressed and worried, and was afraid? No way! God played! God said, LIGHT! and called it GOOD! God made water, land, animals, plants, and then called them all GOOD! And then God made humans—and we are GOOD. Creation wasn’t serious work—it was play! And now we are being invited to take part in that play; to come up with new ways to be and live, and new ways to love. And, as long as we keep God at the center—all of it will be GOOD!
In this time of chaos, uncertainty, and fear, these are the truths that we tend to overlook. Opportunity and abundance. But more than that, this opportunity is offering us freedom from the bondage we once thought to be truth. We don’t have to produce, produce, produce to be successful! We have to LOVE, and be loved. That’s all. And that is the abundant truth.
~ Always Peace, Pastor Heidi