“The waiting is the hardest part” – Tom Petty
When will we get back together as church? As a nation?
Can we move forward with our plans and accomplish our goals?
Will students be back to school? Will we be together for Easter Worship?
Will our neighbors find jobs, housing, assistance?
We are weary from waiting. There’s much we want to know, and we’re ready to move forward, but we find ourselves still waiting. We are waiting for vaccines, for Coronavirus case numbers to drop, for our healthcare systems to be relieved of the pressure they’ve been under. Above all else, are waiting for the Lord.
Waiting is not fun. Imagine what we would hear if we could ask the people of Israel, sent into exile in Babylon, or the disciples and the ones on the road to Emmaus after Jesus was buried in the tomb, or my kids waiting for Christmas. But what we do while we wait matters too. During the exile, the people of God turned to scripture, to build each other up in faith even far away from their temple. While they waited for Jesus to be raised, the disciples prayed and remembered all he taught them. This year, our kids found joy in their Advent calendars, and created new traditions. Here at church, during our waiting time, I’ve been grateful for volunteers that show up and help out, for our senior meal team, always ready to feed people, for your prayers, and for our church staff that gets the job done no matter what.
Even while we wait, God is doing new things! Together, we’ve learned to pray and praise God in new ways! Our Sunday online streaming worship is viewed over 150 times each week! Our online Sunday Bible Study is now available from our website and on Apple podcasts. Our Sunday School has transitioned to a weekly email with home-based lessons and videos for families to share faith together. I hope some have taken advantage of these tools. We have been blessed to reach out to neighbors in need of help, providing groceries for nearly a dozen families, within our congregation and others connected to Fremont Middle School. This Sunday, we’ll welcome new members during our online worship. We’re also getting prepared for the future according to our strategic plan, with preparations for new sanctuary seating and upgraded media tools. This month, we held (2) online listening sessions to share stories those struggling during the COVID era – and had a total of (5) participants share their stories. I guess we’re weary of Zoom meetings too. I continue to serve locally as a board member for Lutheran Social Services of Nevada and nationally with Lutheran Men in Mission.
There is always more to do, something to plan, and look forward to. Our next Delegate Assembly with Nevadans for the Common Good (NCG) is Thursday, January 28th at 7PM on Zoom. I am currently making plans for Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17th), and our Lenten Worship. For now, we wait. We stay centered in the good news of Jesus, and use what time and energy and gifts we have to serve as we are able, according to God’s call and our mission, to share the heart of Christ in the Heart of the City.
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash