Midweek Musings: September 22, 2022

Dear Friend,

I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to live in in-between times. I suppose we are always, on some level, living in in-between times, but I’m feeling it particularly in the realm of church these days. We’re clearly different post-COVID, but I suspect we haven’t yet lived into who we will be post-COVID. I think we (as a community and as a church) are still figuring out the technology (and I suspect we will continue to do this as the technology adapts and advances to meet our needs) and we are still figuring out what it means to worship “hybridly”—to have 1/3 of our congregation online and 2/3 in person, to be a church that is welcoming when we have fewer bodies to usher, teach Sunday School, be in the nursery, greet newcomers, etc.

My temptation is always to want to fix it—to find solutions and to feel unsettled until I know exactly what it will looks like. But I keep reminding myself that we can’t yet know. That we can only begin to imagine what being church in this new hybrid reality will look like. And while I’m all for imagination, I secretly prefer sure and certain knowledge. It’s a balancing act, I suppose, between finding solutions for the here and now while remembering that we don’t yet know what the future will look like, that we’re still living into who God is calling us to be, as a church and as individuals, in this new COVID-informed reality.

What about you, Kathy, what in your life feels in-between?

Something to ponder,
Pastor Sarah

something Worth reading

It is Good

by Bethany Besteman

I had never realized that corona, in addition to being a virus, is also a form of poetry in which the last line of each stanza becomes the first line of the next. This article is primarily about the creative act, but I am most struck by this description of worship as a process of conforming our minds to particular patterns:

“In those dizzying and discombobulating early weeks of the pandemic, I was searching for a way to restore the lost sense of human connection which had affected many parts of my life, not least of all Sunday worship. Technology-assisted connections were a lifeline during those early weeks of total isolation, but even those felt brittle. Each week, Zoom services had allowed me to continue to conform my mind to familiar patterns of adoration, confession, and assurance; gathering and sending. They had kept the proclamation of the Word in my ears and heart. But the congregation, worship leaders, and pastor were all shrunk to 2D boxes on my laptop; worship felt less embodied and certainly less communal.”

Read the full article here.

something worth hearing

All We’re Living For

Sharon Irving

I find this song powerful and sad, but I especially like the lyrics, which you can find below the video in the description.

something worth watching

Spoken Word Poem: She Said How Do You Know When You’re Hearing From God

Amena Brown

I love this whole performance, but I particularly like this line:

“I wanted to tell her that if you want to experience God, you have to be willing to experience what’s holy and the places so many people deem to be sacred. That sometimes God sits next to you on a barstool spilling truth to you like too many beers.”

something worth praying

A Prayer for When Your Child is Sick at Home

Kayla Craig

To the Maker of all things bright and beautiful,
To the Creator of all bodies,
Small and vulnerable,
May You present Yourself
In every nose wiped,
Temperature checked,
And blanket touched.

In their warm foreheads,
Give them rest.

In the tissues crumpled on the floor,
Give us hope.

Let us remember
You are the God who sees,
Who makes good bodies.

In every jagged breath and
Every fever dream,
May we remember that
We nurture our children because
You have shown us
Divine love.

For disrupted schedules
And reminders of
Our shared humanity,
We turn to You—
You, the God who never abandons
In the aches
And exhaustion
Of sickness
And of caring for it.

Give us rest
In the form of
Soft pillows
And community support.

For the clean water on the nightstand,
We give thanks.
For the doctor on call,
We give thanks.
For the pharmacy window,
We give thanks.
And we pray for the day all parents
Can have access to sick days
And bedside care.

Give healing to the weary
In our home
And around the world.

We pray this in the name of Jesus,
Who did not shirk humanity
Or imperfect immune systems,
Who knows intimately and infinitely
Our children’s congestion
And our own human condition.

We pray this in the name of Jesus,
Who was cared for
By His earthly parents
And by You.
Amen.

 


from To Light Their Way: A Collection of Prayers and Liturgies for Parents

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