Summer has come and almost gone and for many of us, we have done nothing relative to prior summer activities. For many of us, summer vacations used to mean highway miles in cars or minivans, 3-4-night’s stay in beachside condominiums, family cruises, canoeing and rafting on the lake, and other thrilling outdoor activities. This year, many of us did not enjoy just sitting around; we wanted action and exhilaration; we wanted a combination of excitement and relaxation; and we reminisce about our favorite food and drinks on our vacations.
Notwithstanding, anyone who has lived in the age of COVID-19 has experienced an adventure of a lifetime. The aforementioned sentence assumes that many people with this experience have already passed, unfortunately. The adventure that I am thinking about entails experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, fear of being sick, living with fear of dying, social distancing, quarantines, job losses, inactivity, loneliness, dealing with personal adversities, coping with stress, experiencing changes and adaptation to changes. The only thing that is constant during this time is change itself.
Do you find yourself weighed down by your seemingly unfortunate lot in life? Or do you embrace the struggle? Life is demanding a “course change” from all of us. We do not control the world; we only control ourselves. Given the aforementioned realities, I share the following points with you: First, practice being ok with the present discomforts of life. As we prepare for General Elections this November, do all you can to calm your inner voice of fear or resentment. Since we live in a democracy with people being free to have differing opinions, watch your thoughts, your words, and your activities on social media. Tell yourself, that even if you are uncomfortable with differences, you have a moral obligation to respect people who share opinions that are different from yours. Maybe, some of us could use an adjustment of attitude.
Secondly, pray with dependence on God’s sovereign grace. When so many things are uncertain, we are reminded how utterly dependent we are on God. Our starting point is God—the source of our being and the God who loves everyone. God so loved the world speaks to the scope of God’s love---the whole world. He loves not just a nation; not just good people; not only people who love Him. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely. Pray for our political leader; pray for your pastor and church family; and pray for your family and local community.
Finally, after months of being unable to meet during this pandemic control measures, many churches have recently re-opened or are planning to re-open. It is understandable that a commitment to safety is necessary and a Christian duty. Undoubtedly, this virus is extremely contagious and as pastor I am hesitant to bring you back to church for congregational services. In short, I don’t want anyone to contract or spread the virus at our church. That being said, we want to resume Bible Study and Sunday morning worship service in compliance with New York State COVID-19 restriction measures. People with comorbidities, preferably should not attend these services. We will continue to provide you with our worship service posted on our church website, YouTube and Facebook. You will also receive a hard copy of the sermon.
Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love!
Rev. Dr. Peter E. Grinion, Pastor