From the Preacherman….

Its been a year. A year since we distanced ourselves from one another, a

year of quarantine, a year of being careful everywhere we went in everything

we did. It was a year of terrible loss, of pain beyond anything we could

imagine. But it was a year of not merely the worst health threat in a hundred

years, but a year of public and raw reckoning with racial injustice. Oh, and by

the way, it was a year of divisive and destructive politics that seethed,

continuing on after the election into this year and perhaps beyond. And

murder hornets. We had those too last year. Murder hornets! And that seems

mild in retrospect.

There is much to consider as we look hopefully towards the end of this

infernal pandemic. I miss people, handshakes and hugs. I miss ordinary days. I

miss meals with friends, cookouts and gatherings and sharing space together. I

miss you, marveling at your resilience in the face of so much that has tested

and tried us. I miss people in worship on Sundays, quiet conversations in the

fellowship hall. I miss you.

I miss being together and listening to a variety of opinions, but also

sharing visions for a more just and hopeful future. I miss people who want to

lean into the problems that we face as a nation. Can we own our sins of

prejudice and racism? Own them. Face them. Learn from them and listen to

people who have been unjustly treated. I miss my church and your willingness

to listen and act into God’s future.

I miss my church and your willingness to lean into our political

problems as a country. I continue to believe we have more in common than

uncommon. I talk to you all week long, listening to your kaleidoscope of

beliefs, opinions and ideas. I miss that cornucopia, that messiness, in church

together. We are better together in all of our differentness, uniqueness and

oddness. Yes, oddness. I love that about you. Just be Disciples of Christ and see

how odd you are in this world. It matters.

If we come through this pandemic with nothing to show for it but loss,

then we have failed, and failed miserably. You have responsibilities as

Christians, a calling to follow Jesus and do his work in this world. So face our

racism, our prejudice, our political myopia, our infernal need to be right while

others are wrong. Face it, confess it. Listen and learn and lean forward into the

future God offers as a gift, a future of love, mercy and kindness. A gift to all

who would receive it.