We have finished another week of the stay-in-place order and the streets are much quieter. The grocery store frenzy seems to have settled slightly, though only slightly. It is still difficult to get such staple items as toilet paper, paper towels, some canned goods, some fresh foods, meat of all sorts, flour, sugar, and even yeast. I’m still trying to figure out who thinks they are going to suddenly start baking massive amounts of bread. If you think you might, I’ll share a recipe with you for sour dough starter that only requires one package and then you can use it over and over. This morning my mom couldn’t get Worcestershire Sauce, of all things!
It would be easy for us to become overwhelmed and discouraged. And yet the evidence that God is with us is all around. I once admired pastors who would get on Facebook live and talk about stuff. I doubted that I would have anything to say. As much as I talk, the idea of doing it on such a format was beyond my imagining. Yet I find something to say every day in a brief devotional. Granted, I read much of it, but I still say something! The first Sunday that I preached to a nearly empty sanctuary with an iPhone turned on me, it took me about 5 minutes before I could breathe comfortably. And now, it just gets done even more up close and personal than we started.
There are many techie tools that have been available to us for a while now. Yet we used very few. It was easy for me to say, “that’s just outside of our people’s comfort zone.” But the truth is that it was outside of my comfort zone as much as anyone else’s. Now I’ve had to learn. I can not only attend a Zoom meeting (or similar formats), but I can set them up and know that for the participants, it’s really not much more than clicking on a link and then “yes” a couple of times. I’m even learning how to move people into private groups for discussion to increase participation in different settings!
So here are our plans for the next few weeks. Palm Sunday is tomorrow. I hope you will either collect a branch from outside or make one to wave. These are easily done with cut-out handprints on green construction paper. I’m also providing this link to a color page that can then be cut out. Here’s the link: https://illustratedmin.s3.amazonaws.com/weekly-resources/PalmColoring.pdf
During Holy Week, my daily devotionals will include time considering the sacrament of Holy Communion and how for Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday we will keep it sacred while celebrating in our own homes. I’ll be sending you information about what you will need for these services. We will look forward with great anticipation the day when we are together again and celebrate the sacrament in communion.
I remind you again to feel free to call me to share your joys and concerns, or just to visit. I miss each of your faces and love hearing your voices!
Peace be with you,