Brothers and Sisters,
Last night, as I was picking up Remy’s birthday dinner on my way home from work (he requested burgers btw) a memory popped into my head that stopped me in my tracks for a minute.
I had a sort of flashback to an interaction I had had in front of this restaurant about three years ago. It was summer, the garage doors were open, and Mass Ave was crowded with the traffic of an especially social weekend dinnertime. I was on my way to grab dinner for the family that night too, when I heard someone call out my name. As I turned to scan the crowd for who was calling out, I finally spotted a couple of family friends. I’ve known them for most of my life and while we hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years, it was a great surprise to run into them and catch up for ten minutes.
This memory felt abrupt last night, because so much has happened in the past two years that the dynamics of that interaction would be impossible to recreate if another chance encounter were to transpire.
That passing time together happened before:
- The Covid-19 pandemic
- George Floyd’s murder
- Breonna Taylor’s murder
- The insurrection at the Capitol
- So. Much. More.
Each of these events and their surrounding context has drastically altered the dynamics of this relationship and many others. If I were to have run into this couple last night on my way to picking up Remy’s cheeseburger it is very unlikely that we would have spoken to each other. And, if we had, the conversation would not have adopted the old, familiar rhythms of catching up while also not talking about anything much at all – chit-chat.
These events do not represent a change or a shift, but they have acted as revealing agents. They’ve pulled back the curtain on the underlying form and function of much of our society and systems. It’s overwhelming and exhausting. There’s a temptation to look away, but we, as a church, are called to face what is being revealed. God is at work, even and especially, in the midst of this revealing. Thank God for that, but it is still so tiring.
We have been through a lot in the last couple of years, and now once again, due to an enormous spike in Covid cases, Table Groups are discerning when/if to meet. Many are, once again, re-assessing the rhythms of their lives — where/how to work, who/how to hang out with others, etc.
You have been through so much the past couple of years and this is still a LOT. This is a moment when you may not feel like you have the strength to continue on, like you’re all alone, or that it’s all too much, but I want to encourage you that you are not alone! We see you and we are with you. Each Sunday as we come to the Lord’s table, we are re-membered as the Body of Christ – we are a part of each other.
Let us grieve together. Let us discern together. Let us cry and laugh together. Let us continue to seek ways to care for one another, and, even if it must be virtually at times, be together.
If you are overwhelmed or feeling all alone, please reach out. You are not alone – we are with you! We love you!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit!