A virus. A tornado. A rapidly shifting political scene. And that was just by Wednesday! How do you and I as people of faith, respond to the volatility?
First, the virus. Jesus focused much of his energy on healing the sick. Without antibiotics or IV’s, Jesus had compassion on those with incurable diseases who had been ostracized by society. And often, Jesus healed by simply touching the other person. He reached across the social boundaries and offered God’s merciful embrace, bringing hope amidst the fear.
Your clergy team spent Monday wrestling with how we could care for all of you in the midst of the rapidly spreading virus. Here is our plan:
In accordance with the Kansas City Health Department recommendations, this Sunday we will greet one another with a warm smile rather than a handshake during worship. And when we share the loaf and cup for communion, we will provide each worshipper with an individually wrapped and sealed wafer and juice cup. When you depart the sanctuary, I will gladly greet you in the rotunda and let you decide if you prefer to shake hands, elbow bump or simply smile. The goal of all of this is to empower us to still gather as the body of Christ while assuring all of us of good health and safety practices.
Then, a tornado. We were awakened on Tuesday morning to a phone exploding with text messages from kind friends and family inquiring about our son’s safety after a tornado in Nashville ripped apart homes and business in the middle of the night. When we reached our son on the phone he assured us that he was fine. But the music venue, Nashville East, where he had been two nights prior, was completely destroyed. And next door to Nashville East, the business where Connor works four days a week had called to say not to come to work because they had no power and debris was covering the streets. I could hear in his voice an uncommon reverence for life.
In the midst of life’s disruptions, we are awakened to the indwelling spirit of God alive not only with us but also in between us, in our common life.
Grace and peace,