It has been two years. It was Friday, March 13, 2020. It is a day I will never forget. We all signed on to “two weeks to lower the curve.” That went well. After two years the restrictions are easing. But what this has done to the church has been painful, but with some perspective, helpful.
We have learned what is important in our time together. For me, I refused to pre-record the message. Paul Duncan in his garage…ok, prerecord worship so that the sound mix could be our best. But I thought we needed normalcy. Besides, if I had preached the message and then edited out all the flubs, what fun is that? And then when we got back to live, you’d wonder what happened to that polished pastor. Polished, not Polish (as in the nationality). I’m half Swedish, no part Polish. English is an odd language.
I remember the moment I became very concerned. It was when Tony Vula told me that Qantas was cancelling all flights for two years. Two years? That’s seemed very extreme. No way. Yes way. They are still getting their planes out of mothballs.
The government announced changes on Fridays. That was so thoughtful of them, so the church had little time to adjust. I distinctly remember thinking: they can’t make us close the doors for Easter. Come on. It’s Easter. I could not conceive that by Easter 2021, we’d barely be back. And I would miss my favorite day of the year with you. I was too exhausted and on Sabbatical. So much for normal. We will make up for that in 2022, Lord willing. Doughnut holes are back!
And during the pandemic, we faced riots across the nation. And now, there is war in Ukraine. That is a lot of fear and trauma in two years. But we have a faithful God. And no matter what happens, we know He is in control, and even if we make mistakes, He will rescue us. I came across a song last week that expresses my heart in these days. The author tweaked a few words from the very familiar hymn, which has made me rethink it all. When you have the tune for “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” in your mind, use these words:
Great is Your faithfulness, O God, my Father. There is no moment You’ll turn back on me. You never change, Your compassions find me always. As You have been, You forever will be. And the song ends: You’ve proved it over and over, so why did I doubt?
Great Is Your Faithfulness, Comfortably Uncomfortable Publishing; written by Nathan Jess/Temitope Peters/Thomas Obadiah Chisholm/William Marion Runyan); sung by Temitope.