Right now on Sundays, we will be meeting for worship on Zoom at 9:30 am. After about 15 minutes to greet each other and socialize, we will start our worship service. This Sunday, we are continuing our Stewardship journey, exploring Our Story: Woven through Faith, Mission and Money. This week we will Reimagine. We will re-imagine our socioeconomic system and understanding of giving through the lens of abundance. We will reimagine our story through money and mission. John 21: 1-14.
Click or tap the following buttons to open each Zoom meeting:
If you need to call into the Zoom meeting, dial 312-626-6799 and enter the desired Meeting ID:
- Sunday Service: 520 956 1228
- Pathfinders: 302 043 1873 Passcode 3601
- Family Connection Zoom: 278 494 2669
- Music Connection Zoom: 292 382 3872
- Spiritual Journeys 889 1158 8742
- Stewardship 361 183 1433
The Pastor’s Message
It was the middle of the night when the Israelites left the security of their homes. In the midst of preparing the lamb, ensuring the blood was spread above the entry of the doorway, gathering the bread that had not had time to rise there was little time to process the fullness of what was transpiring. They left with what they could carry on their backs and found themselves on a journey more difficult than they could have never imagined. There wasn’t time to process what was transpiring, nor was there a true closure to the life they once knew. In what seemed like a blink of an eye the Israelites found themselves displaced in a foreign terrain for which they could not quiet comprehend the longevity of their new way of being and living.
No closure, it just happened and life was different and harder than it had ever been before. The Israelites were forced to forge a different kind of life than what they were accustomed to leaving them drained and weary. No longer was food something they enjoyed, it was a task they had to merely do, no longer was there a central gathering place in which they could walk in with ease to worship the very God for whom they adored; every sacred item had to be carried, stored and tended to every single time they wanted to gather together. Every movement they made was tedious, draining and left them longing to return to Egypt. The long, weary days left them crying out to return to their normal lives. The Israelites wanted a quick return to the way things had always been, never in a million years could they have imagined that the journey would lead them without physical walls for several generations.
I’ve been wondering if the Israelites longed for Egypt and the way life had always been because their lives felt like they had been ripped apart without any closure. I’ve been pondering the effects of what it does to the psyche when life is drastically altered without the power to choose. I wonder if the moving to and fro in the desert, was because they kept trying to replicate the very life that God had freed them from. When I look out into our new world, I think of the connection to the Israelites. The course of our lives have drastically changed and we are longing for the return of the way life was in February. We are crying out like our brothers and sisters from so long ago to return to what we knew, to the securities that enveloped us daily. We are longing to return to worship in person, to experience Mugs and Hugs after worship, to sing in worship with a joyful heart and to pass the peace with one another, for our groups to be in person and for all things to return.
The story of the Israelites reminds me that having closure is powerful. These months have been long and the future is unknown and I know that all of us are grieving the world as we knew it in our own way. The years spent in the desert were difficult and yet freeing, revealing a renewed commitment of God’s love for them. They were shaped into a community with a broader commitment to serve one another, to tend to the needs of those within their reach and gained an appreciation and understanding that God is not contained in a specific space. Closure didn’t occur over night and neither did a new sense of purpose. We are in the desert and we are grieving what was; the life we once had , yet God is freeing us to be transformed, to live differently and to depend upon God and one another in broader and deeper ways. I am thankful for the connection to the Israelites for our lives changed in the middle of the night without our choosing, slowly but surely we will find closure and be able to lean into this new reality and sense of purpose.
In Love and Faith,