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.