My friends, we find ourselves in a very strange period of time. This specific February is unusual for some very particular reasons.
First, we find ourselves in a remarkably long stretch of “ordinary time” before we head into the season of Lent. Now, normally in February we mark Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday as we begin the process of preparing ourselves for Holy Week. However, this year, we do not see even a glimpse of purple in the liturgy until March. And “ordinary time” can definitely leave us dragging when all we are wanting to do is find some sort of way to see time hopscotch forward.
Second, I think the pandemic is beginning to interact with us on a far more day-to-day basis now. With these new strains of the virus being so contagious, even the longest-standing holdouts are falling prey to the malady. What is more, all of us are desperate, desolate, discouraged, and disheartened every time we finally begin to make plans and that glimmer of expectation collapses into a John Deacon chorus.
So then, what do we do in this gloomy stretch of dust-filled, monotonous boredom?
First, if anyone is needing a moment to actually revel in the pit of despair, I think it is fair to take it. It is okay to not be okay all of the time. Perhaps we should take this extra “down time” to give some space to those who need it to cry or scream or stomp or whatever will let out all those big emotions we grown-ups like to forget we actually have (kids haven’t learned how to suppress them yet).
Next, let’s take a look at where we actually are. Gloomy and shadow-filled – God is still there because there is no place where God cannot and will not be. Monotonous – God likes to show up during our regular, everyday lives and shake things up a bit when we’re least expecting it. Boring – could it be that it’s time for a nap and a snack like God often prescribes for the worn out prophets? And dust – well, our God is an expert at dealing with dust. In fact, our God does some of God’s best work with dust. Makes beautiful things out of dust. Human beings, for example.
So, if we are in a place where God resides, will definitely stir things up, after we’ve taken time to have a rest and to rejuvenate, and God will raise us from the dust – what better news is there than that?
Sometimes it’s a matter of turning your perspective around to see it, but hope is like the eternal flame. Even if it’s an ember dimly glowing, it’s still there.
And God is still here. Still working. We will see what is happening in our midst in the coming days and into the coming months. Of that we can be certain.
Blessings, Pastor Janie