Dear friends in Christ,
The tide is rising, and has been for a while now. We are no longer in some vague middle of the pandemic, unsure if things are getting worse or better. We who have been thirsting for gathering with others, for resuming some of the activities we treasured before the pandemic, are feeling the waters around us and are tentatively putting out our tentacles. Some of us are already fully immersed, while others are still high and dry on the rocky shore. And some of us, of course, perhaps most, are somewhere in between.
Wherever you find yourself, be there. Be at peace. It is a strange time, and strangeness can beget anxiety. In this Easter season, we’ve been thinking a lot about the disciples in that strange time after Jesus’ resurrection, when they were torn between grief and hope and struggling with anxiety over how it would be and how they would carry on.
Through the power of the spirit, and in the peace of Christ, Jesus’ followers found their way. They had been changed by their time with Jesus, and by the trauma of his death. I wonder whether they ever felt “normal” again. If they did, it wasn’t because things were like they had been before. It was because they became accustomed to their new reality – and learned to thrive in it. They went forward with courage and grace. They made some mistakes, and they worked some miracles. Whatever they did, they did because they loved God, and they loved each other.
We can learn from them as we continue our own journey as the community of St. Mary’s, beyond the pandemic. Whatever is happening in the world, following Jesus really just comes down to loving God and loving our neighbors, one day at a time. We can’t see the whole future. We definitely can’t control it to the degree that might make us feel comfortable. But we can take the next faithful step.
I invite you to begin where you are, and as the tide comes in, put out your tentacles. Feel the fresh water around you, like the waters of baptism. Be refreshed and invigorated. Be fed. Stretch with curiosity to find what this new tide holds. And, like the anemones, stay rooted on the rock, God our Creator, who will never let us go.