Beloved St. John’s community,
What do you trust these days — really? This question is on my heart as I walk with you into uncharted territory.
On the one hand, I have people asking me every day: when can we go back to normal? I understand this question. I yearn for any semblance of normalcy myself. I miss your smiling faces, am hungry for the time we can share Holy Communion with one another in person, and can sing our guts out to the piano or pipe organ under Chad’s soulful leadership.
On the other hand, it seems as if it won’t be loving or safe to “go back to normal” in our building for a long time. What is this going to mean?
Jesus was nearing the end of his own life as he spoke the words above to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” They, like us, were entering into unwelcome and even traumatic change. And I have to believe that trust for them—like us—was hard to come by. I think it’s so important that we acknowledge this and let ourselves be honest about it. We don’t have to pretend that everything is OK. It isn’t. And yet: if the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection means anything, it means that we along with our spiritual ancestors know what it means to experience pain and loss, and still come through the other side—because all the creative power of God’s love is with us, unconditionally, without measure, in ways that manifest in the real world as life. We are Easter people.
Trust in this reality, which repeats as a story with countless iterations, is our most precious resource. Here is what I read recently about trust during these times:
We will discover that while many resources are suddenly unavailable to us, the most essential resource is still available, and the most important reality has not changed. The reality is that God has called us to a time like this, given us a mission and a community to serve alongside, and we still have the most important resource, which is trust in the context of love. Everything depends on how quickly and thoroughly we move to build on that resource, starting today.
Where are you seeing evidence of the healing presence and action of God within and around you in the St. John’s community today? Take a minute to ponder that question honestly.
Whatever you came up with, it might be just enough trust for today. But like manna in the wilderness that God gave the people, daily bread—daily trust—is all we ever have to have. It is enough.