March 04, 2021
As of February 18th, it has been a year since I have worked in-person or served alongside the Calvary community regularly. In about a week and a half you will be in the same place, as we mark doing digital worship and ministry for the past year.
March of 2020 had us feeling like if we can just make it to Memorial Day of 2020 we’d be okay … well now we look at Memorial Day of 2021 and wonder if safety measures will be changing. Our perspectives on the state of our daily life have continued to shift. I’m aware that more of our community is receiving their vaccine shots and that brings up great curiosity about returning to onsite worship. Part of this awareness comes with wondering when the pastoral staff will be eligible to receive vaccines as it shifted from category 1B3 to a newly created category 1B4 (for understandable reasons). These shifts brought on by the vaccine distributions is felt very deeply as Ian and I prepare to welcome our daughter, and we navigate uncertain schedules around our own vaccinations and those of her grandparents around the time of her birth.
This new expression of the in between feels all too fitting for the season of Lent. As Easter people it can feel like the weeks of Lenten observation keeps us from the celebration of Easter Sunday. Yet being able to observe Lent reminds us that Jesus’ life was not a perpetual Easter morning, and neither are our lives. For many, this past year has felt like days and weeks of continual Good Fridays or Holy Saturdays.
I know there will be a new rhythm once herd immunity has been reached and I so look forward to exploring that new rhythm with my family and with all of you. Yet this of the here and the not yet brings about apprehension for a new rhythm - our family has learned how to live at a slower pace, find comfort (and a bit of boredom) within the walls of our home, and survive (even a few times thrive) without much support. The thought of having to adjust once again has hope and anxiety dancing within me. I’m reminded how Ian and I felt when the pandemic began a year ago, left wondering how we were going to get through it with a newborn. Now we wonder what the non-pandemic parenting life brings, this time with two children in the dynamic.
I share this because you too might be feeling hopeful yet uncertain about the changes ahead. That’s not to say that you aren’t open to the rhythms of life outside of pandemic safety measures but simply that it feels like a lot once again. During Lent we look forward to Easter, but we have to experience the wandering and the trials then Good Friday and Holy Saturday - without which we would not have Easter morning. As we live in this transitional season, know that it’s okay to be thrilled for what will be, while simultaneously feeling uncertain about what life will be for you and yours.
I look forward to gathering together in-person again and I don’t want to lose the meaningful ways we have connected with those in other states or countries during our digital expressions of ministry. I look forward to many in our church family getting to meet Julian for the first time alongside our daughter. I look forward to life outside of the walls of our wonderful home. And still… these welcomed changes leave me a bit unsettled as we wander towards them.
Grateful to be in a season of wandering towards Easter with all of you this Lent,