Pastor's Pondering - June 21st, 2020
Updated: Jul 3
Dear friends -
I was recently asked to reflect in 100 - 200 words what it's like to be a faith leader during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 100 - 200 words hardly captures a day in the life of a pastor during pandemic let alone months of it, so here's a broad sweep of a reflection:
A friend of mine recently preached a sermon on watching schools of fish while snorkeling – they head in a general direction, swimming so perfectly spaced toward a common goal; and then seemingly without warning, they shift, darting rhythmically in one direction then quickly re-angling their trajectory, all while heading toward the eventual purpose. Shift, shift, shift. This is what it is like to lead a congregation during these times. What that description doesn’t take into account is the intense grief of each shift, the exhausting balance of the need for safety and the deep longing to be back in community both of the pastor and on behalf of an entire congregation of people, the checklists of the new normal when we think we are able to gather again that wake us up with mind-racing alertness at 3 am, and the occasional joy of experiencing God at work in new ways. It is holy and messy, intense and ridiculously emotional. In other words, it is life, but with a distillation that both overpowers and fortifies, beckoning us forth into something new.
This is the story of all of God's people - the challenge, the chaos or helplessness, the deeper reliance on God, and the something new which God is creating. Our sermon series throughout this summer is exploring this new thing God is doing as reflected in Isaiah 43 and throughout Scripture. May the stories of the ways others have shifted and been transformed help mentor us through this time of shifting and transforming as well, as we are beckoned forth into something new.
Grace and peace,