In recent weeks, many Canadian provinces have ended their mask mandates. For the first time in almost two years, we see each other’s faces in grocery stores and perhaps also in church.
And yet for the most part there is no feeling of liberation or great cry of joy. To be sure, we like it. But there’s a feeling that all of this could just be temporary. We’ve experienced the roller coaster ride of tightening and loosening restrictions as the waves hit and subsided then roared again.
I can tell you that my congregation is being very cautious. We’re not going out of our way to invite people to remove their masks. We’re still roping off pews and keeping the six-foot separation. As well, we’re reminded that General Assembly will be online, as will the Renewal Fellowship’s annual meeting on April 30.
We’re in an unsure situation. We feel insecure. Will we have a normal summer? That was the bold promise of our political leaders at this time in 2020 and 2021. Are we too jaded to be optimistic anymore?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines jaded as “Tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something.” Too much of the emotional ride, for sure.
In a perfect world, those who know the Lord would not be tired, bored or lacking in enthusiasm. But that perfect world is to come. In the meantime, here we are.
The Prophet Isaiah records the Lord’s powerful, energizing words. Chapter 40 is a balm for anyone who needs a charge.
“Comfort, comfort my people,” it begins. It concludes with this: “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 30:29-30, NLT)
The promise was not just to the nation of Israel in exile. It’s for all throughout history who choose to believe.
Sometimes we need to gather together to be reminded of that promise. We are invited to share our frustrations and our hope. Wherever we find ourselves, we are better together.