We have spent much time isolated from one another. We’ve watched and struggled through sickness, financial challenges, division, racial unrest and death itself. It might even ask, will things ever get back to normal and can we do things as we used to? All that we’ve struggled through both through this pandemic and the struggles of our history we must see as an opportunity and a possibility to step into our future. With vigor, hope and enthusiasm with a desire to be a part of our future. I encourage us not to focus on the pain and separation of the past but rather living a new alternative for the the future.
We long to reconnect with family, friends and church members. We long to be with colleagues and fellow workers. The scriptures can have new and deeper meaning for us if we see our present as a means to step forward into our future. We may find ourselves feeling like Job and his words resonate with our own pain and struggles. He says:
“So I have been assigned months of misery,
and troubled nights have been allotted to me.
If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?”
then the night drags on;
I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.“
These words of Job may seem hopeless and dreadful. We are restless and like him see life as passing like the wind. But we are called to look beyond our current struggle and context and to see that God is truly active in our lives and desires that we move to a new place, with a new power, a new direction and renewed spirit. I think this new power and new ability we can see with the healing of the mother-in law of Peter. Imagine the drudgery of Peter’s wife. She is deeply concerned for her mother, she seems to be in such great despair. This despair is not meant to end in death and destruction, she is not doomed to grief and hardship, but rather Peter’s wife is about to experience a transformation as her mother witnesses the ability of Jesus to restore her life. I use to word restore, because not only does the fever leave her, but she is restored to her role of service in caring for and providing for her family as she returns to serving those in the home.
Jesus makes a difference for the future to move beyond despair and drudgery to power and restoration. Jesus demonstrates to us how to step into the power of the future by moving from prayer to power and back again. If we watch closely how Jesus moves forward. He has been in the synagogue that place of prayer and learning. Reading of the law and prophets and teaching. We must find in our own context the ability to step forward into our future. We are being given a great opportunity to already walk in our future here and now. Not living in fear and separation, but rather to live and walk in Hope and Unity.
We’ve longed to be together and worship, celebrate and share with our parishioners and friends. We are being given an opportunity to celebrate this in a special way through the celebration of our 100th anniversary. It is not only an opportunity to remember our past, but more importantly to decide here and now will we have a future as a church and are we willing to get up, and step up and walk into our future.
We must be about our future and destiny not remaining in despair but stepping up as Peter’s mother in law sets the example. Our past pain, sickness and struggle cannot hold us back nor keep us down. But with the power that comes from Jesus and union with Him becomes the driving force for us to live and walk into our future. As a church and community we become agents for justice and hope not only for ourselves but for those that we serve. Justice must be what shapes our future to be a place hope and power.