This Sunday

A message  for this time (delivered via Zoom)

Rev. Jason Storbakken

We are in a new day. And each day looks a little different than the day before.

It is important for us to cultivate emotional resilience. This doesn’t mean that we are to be doomsayers or to dwell on the negative. But research shows that when we consider loss, failure, or worse-case scenarios, that we will be better equipped to respond when that day comes.

If China, Italy and Spain are examples of what is to come, then we should anticipate waves of grief and death. Not dwell on it, but know that it appears inevitable.

And yet we aren’t the first generation to endure plagues and pestilence. Our Book shows us that generations of people have endured such pestilience.

This virus is revealing the huge gaps in our social safety net. The poor line up down the block and around the corner to get meals at the Bowery Mission. Victims of domestic violence are quarantined with their abuser. Alcoholism and other controlling issues will surely rise during these times.

And so we hold to our faith. Paul plainly wrote: “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Those of us who are able, let us rest in this time.

  • Take naps, bake a cake, discover new spiritual practices, call loved ones often, spend 10 minutes every day in prayer, write positive reviews for your church (and your favorite restaurants – they could use the love).
  • Many of you have servant’s hearts, and you’re not able to serve or volunteer as you used to. I recommend making donations to organizations that need help. You don’t need to be a major donor to give a gift! Even $5 can go a long ways.
  • Let us adapt to new technology and ways of communicating. These technologies will be with us even more as we move forward. So take the time to learn them now.

And when we emerge from this cocoon of self-quarantine, may we deeply appreciate opportunities to be together. Allowing us to be really present when having a cup of coffee with a friend. Or hugging a loved one just a bit longer than we used to. May we look into each other’s eyes and truly see each other.

In this season, may each of us cultivate hearts of devotion, that we might deepen in our faith to God and our commitment to one another.