Perhaps because the separation was forced, I feel a sense of longing about seeing them again. My sister and I both left the Lone Star State and our parents nest more than 30 years ago. Marriage, career and children reshaped the contours of our lives. And now we return into the arms of those who gave us birth, with the certainty that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of one another.
I suspect that none of us knows quite yet how we have been altered by the pandemic. That could take years to reveal itself. I have enjoyed the solitude of working at home and the concept of “weekends” which had never been a reality in my adult life. But I am longing to host dinner parties. I’m looking forward to inviting the church staff over for a picnic in our backyard. I’m counting the days until we will gather on the front lawn in the cool summer breeze at dawn for outdoor 9:01 Sunday worship. And I keep imagining the holy reverberation of our collective voices belting out the processional hymn in the grandeur of our sanctuary later this summer at the 11:00 a.m. service or in the chapel at 10:00 a.m.
Distance has been a teacher of sorts. It has awakened our longing for community. By the grace of the vaccine, we are able to return to in person worship and be welcomed into the arms of the God who gave us birth. Matthew 18:20 says “where two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst of them.” In one another’s company, we can be certain that nothing can separate us from God’s love.
Grace and Peace,