Message for Third Sunday After The Epiphany
My Brothers and Sisters,
Those of you who follow the pronouncements coming out of the medical community would have noticed that this community is suggesting that there is no guarantee that the COVID 19 virus and its mutations will go away anytime soon. The focus seems to be on vaccines and other treatments to mitigate the effect of this virus, even as we are still being encouraged to practice safety protocols. We might even have noticed that persons within political leadership in various countries have indicated their intentions not to return to some of the protocols previously followed. I share these observations with us because I sense some level of fear as it relates to our attendance at our Sunday Services. Where I can appreciate a need to continue being safe, we can gather for community worship observing the distance and mask-wearing guidelines. I can assure all of us that we have made every effort to ensure that our gatherings follow the public health regulations and that we can meet in the numbers these guidelines allow.
Since the return to the basic six feet distancing as the benchmark, most of the worship services have seen far less than the 50% of what we can accommodate. Against this background I am encouraging those of us who have not attended probably ever since the regulations were instituted, to begin to register and attend. The possibility does exist that we can become very comfortable with streaming services to the extent where we see no need to participate physically in community worship. I suggest that we do not see our streaming events as an alternative, but rather a facility put in place to allow us to participate in various activities, because of the risks associated with gatherings.
We continue to pray for persons involved in research aimed at creating a vaccine that effectively immunes us from this virus and its mutations. We also pray for the work involved in creating treatments to lessen the impact on those who contract the virus. Until we get to that point, let us make use of the worship opportunities available within the regulations.
I leave us with some lines from a well-loved hymn. “We are pilgrims on a journey and companions on the road; we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.”