As we are in the season of Lent I am reflecting back over the same season of Lent last year. We were bombarded with a new worldwide virus and told we were to shelter in place for a short period. We all were thinking about those words and what they meant. We were dreading what we thought would be two weeks of not being able to gather at other people’s homes, or go to sporting events, restaurants, schools, work, gyms or to church. Little did we know that a year later we would still be struggling with the same things--fear, isolation, depression and anxiety. This journey we have trudged through has been long and arduous. We all are suffering from pandemic fatigue from what many have coined “unprecedented times” in America. We have seen loss of jobs, exhaustion from over-working (as for the scientists, long haulers, grocery workers, healthcare workers, mail carriers, UPS drivers just to name a few), political unrest, and racial injustice. We have seen houses turned upside down with kids home from school with no activities to attend, parents working from home with preschool children playing in their midst, homes that are quiet and lonely due to quarantine.
We must remember that we are all in this together and need to support each other. Thankfully, we now are approaching a time when many people have been vaccinated and schools, businesses, gyms, day cares and churches are reopening. We know that God knows exactly what we all have been through. "So do not fear, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
Our hope always is in our Lord and Savior, and He will not ever disappoint. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8)
As we hope and pray that our lives will return to normal or to a “new” normal we must remember, “Do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:16). God’s promises are true. He is our light and our hope.
As Easter approaches we know Jesus has been on this long uncertain journey with us, through pain and sorrow to hope and resurrection to a deeper meaning and understanding of Easter. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). “I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Philippians 3:10).
On Easter Sunday and beyond I hope we can show others God’s grace and mercy and for all of us to move forward united as we come together as a community inside Pilgrim Lutheran Church.
Marla Murphy, elder
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