Quarantine Week 4

Who would have thought that the whole world would be in lockdown? But here we are entering week 4 of the “Stay-at-home” order by the government. I always thought I would like to work from home, but not like this.

Palm Sunday was yesterday. The start of Holy Week was different this year. We were asked to put greenery our front doors and share pictures with our church family on social media. Some churches held parades with members waving palm branches from their cars as they drove a designated route. However it was celebrated, Palm Sunday was different.

I miss my church family. I miss the hugs and shaking hands that I used to think was annoying. I miss the smiling facing that I would just nod to when I entered the fellowship time. I even miss the coffee that was often not strong enough. They say you never know what you have ’til it is gone. Well, that is certainly true.

I wish i could say when all this will be over, or whenever it is over, we will all be safe and sound. We will be happier to get together. Until then, the church will remain as empty as the tomb. We will think about that emptiness in a new way this year. Empty may be the church but our hearts should be filled with love and compassion and grace. Maybe this time apart will make us all love the time we have together all the more.

How Deep is Your Faith?

Last Sunday, Pastor Teresa filled my mind with images of spring/summer with mention of kayaks and pools, especially swimming in the deep end of the pool. I remember jumping off the diving board into the deep end and enjoying the splash of cool water flowing over me. It was fun and refreshing.

I also remember that the games were played in the shallow end; games like keep-away and find the coin and Marco Polo. Lots of noise and splashing about came from the shallow end.

So the question comes from Sunday’s sermon, how deep are you willing to wonder out in your faith? Are you still playing games in the shallow end or have you plunged head first into the deep end yet?

Many people follow the ebb and tide to find themselves in each at some time in their life. So where are you in the shallow end? On what topic of faith do you find yourself troubled? When do you find it hard to “Love thy neighbor as yourself”?

I am by no means the greatest of faith havers. I am troubled by having to love someone that is hard-headed and steadfast in their ways as to not accept another one for something simple like color, sex or orientation. But Jesus said to “Love thy neighbor” — not that you had to like them. I can love and care and accept my hard-headed neighbor and the neighbor that they do not accept but I can also state that I don’t like the way they treat the other. Does that put me in the deep end of faith? Probably not.

I overheard a friend talking about a news article at fellowship time last Sunday. She was saying what a wonderful thing this couple had done by adopting the children of a family — all eight of them. But in the same breath, she said “Now they are two women and I’m against that, but what a great thing for those children.” Do I love the friend? Yes. Do I love the act being discussed? Yes. Do I love the “I’m against that” comment? No. I understand it but I don’t love it.

These two women are doing a glorious thing for that family and may God bless them for it. The fact that the women have been together as a couple for years was not discussed nor probably known. I only know this because my family and their family are friends. They are acting deep in their faith that the Father will provide.

There are many hard conversations coming up in the church. My hope is that each member will act like they are deep in their faith. That we put the commandment of Jesus first in our discussions. I will love my church family regardless of their stance. I may not like their stance, but I will try to stay in the deep end of my faith and love anyway.