Followers of Jesus are called to practice resurrection and to trust that God will make all things new. As people of faith at Grace-St. Luke’s and Christians everywhere, this is paramount to what we say and believe about God’s steadfast love and presence in all things and all times.
This time last year in April and May of 2020, the Grace-St. Luke’s community, like a majority of the world, was going deeper into the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. No one could predict the sicknesses caused by COVID-19 and the score of earthly deaths or passages into eternal life that would occur. Most members of the human family were wandering aimlessly, fearfully, and courageously into what continues to be revealed about new ways of being and living. All the ways by which we had engaged in life at GSL and every other meaningful aspect in our lives have changed. And yet, in common and extraordinary ways, we have practiced resurrection.
This year, we are celebrating, praising God, and thanking scientists for the development of a vaccine. Many are watching and joining the number of persons being inoculated exponentially and longing for some old and new ways to gather with others in person and for more freedom. We also are paying attention to the advice of health, church, and government officials about what we can do to help in flattening the curve. Some restrictions and limitations remain in place and might be for longer than we think is either necessary or our preference. Amid all of this, we, the Church, the body of Christ, are practicing resurrection.
At this juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic, even with the priceless gift of a vaccine, it impresses me that now we are called as an “Easter people” to explore what it means, or might look like, to approach the faith of the Church in new ways. The natural, familiar, and longstanding ways by which we have practiced our faith points to a variety of worship, formation, fellowship, service, and community-buildings where large numbers of persons are assembled—folks all around! Now that things have changed regarding how we gather, and we won’t return to what was common, Christians are called to share in the work of “Reimagining Church,” mindful that ways of being and doing will be different. This edition of The Messenger as well as the eNews, social media, and worship notices are filled with highlights, reflections, and events intended to offer encouragement, support spiritual journeys, and emphasize the stewardship required to sustain life at GSL. Remaining faithful followers of Jesus, the One who promises to never leave us comfortless and grant us eternal life, may we courageously practice resurrection and trust that all shall be well.
Faithfully and blessings as we try,
The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector
901-252-6320 | orencher [at] gracestlukes [dot] org