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1,149,719 and counting…

On this date, March 15, three years ago, our community “shut down” due to the global pandemic known as Coronavirus; our church family held its first online worship experience on that Sunday. Some of us gathered in the Sanctuary, keeping our distance from one another, wondering if anyone was out there in “internet land” watching us and worshipping God together yet apart. The sermon was an interactive discussion; would love to tell you what we talked about but I can’t find my notes from that day. We ended up being closed for 16 weeks which was a very short time compared to most, but our church family rallied around serving our community with food and non-perishable goods. Our “church” came alive on the internet and in the parking lot; we were doing ministry.

A lot has changed in three years; we as humans have changed. We’ve become more fearful and more reclusive, struggling to open our lives up to one another and live in community with each other. We have become more critical, more suspicious, more judgmental and more lonely. We are grieving all kinds of losses.

1,149,719 is the number of people who have died (to date) from Covid 19 and related illnesses made deadly through the virus in the US alone; over six million people have died worldwide. There is a cloud of grief over this world; a song of lament in the hearts of all people everywhere. Hopelessness and sadness dominate our souls, even if we can’t name it… we are grieving and we don’t know how to do it well or in a healthy way.

Where can we turn to find refuge and peace? Where can we find comfort and purpose? Where can we find joy and hope? Who can love us in the midst of our brokenness? His name is Jesus… the good Shepherd and the Bread of Life; He offers “living water” to those who are thirsty and dry.

May you find your way to God’s holy mountain where He is waiting to meet with you and wrap His loving arms around you.

Psalm 43:2, 3 (NLT)… “For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.”

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