Black Lives Matter
Indigenous Lives Matter
Lives of People of Colour Matter
How are you doing? How is your summer going? Have you been able to “stretch” just a little beyond the COVID-19 restrictions of the past few months? Or have you continued to feel mostly restricted to your home? What has been a regular joyful thing for you: Family? Friends? Phone calls? Video calls? Reading? Netflix? The return of TV sports? What has been disappointing or even a source of sadness for you: Not getting out of the house? Family? Friends? Netflix? The return of TV sports? Illness? Loss? Sense of personal isolation?
My impression is that individual experiences have been different. Some have felt that life has slowed down from its usual pace and this has been seen as a blessing and an opportunity. For others the loss of employment and income have caused new stresses to afford food and shelter and to continue supporting a family. Some, of course, have been directly affected by COVID-19 as a serious life-threatening illness. Some have “tested positive” but experienced no symptoms. The very large majority of us have not been directly affected by the virus, although most of us will likely know someone who has been directly affected.
Late in the 4th chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is sleeping in a boat when his disciples woke him up because they were afraid of the storm. “(Jesus) woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’” (Mark 4:39, 40 NRSV) Perhaps we are riding out a “COVID storm.” Perhaps we feel we need Jesus to “wake up” and calm it for us. It is instructive, however, to note that following his “miracle” Jesus essentially chastised his disciples for apparently being afraid and having no faith. Perhaps the lesson for us is that Jesus may or may not be sleeping through this storm along with us, but Jesus most certainly is with us. And, furthermore, given the disciples’ experience, we need to retain our faith and exercise our confidence that this storm will pass. Afterwards we will look back and recognize the places where we benefited from the blessings of God going through the storm, and we will be able to give thanks to God when we have safely come out the other side.
Despite our challenges, may we look for the good and positive experiences of the last few months. And if that is in itself a challenge for us, may we look forward with hope to the passing of the storm in the future so we can once again enjoy smoother sailing.
I pray for you God’s blessings of guidance, understanding, hope, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537