From Pastor Henry Kranenburg
September has started, which is good – it had to. But in some sense September is far from over. We notice there is more freedom in people connection than there was for the first few months of Covid (certainly with school) but we also note increased ‘looseness’ when it comes to rules for masks and gatherings and distancing. People talk of Covid fatigue but now we also talk of the rising numbers. And having written this, I wonder if there is a tiredness of Covid dialogue as well – how much more do we want to read or hear about it. Yet it is part of our reality, whether we like it or not. Then it strikes me that at the heart of the Christian faith, and certainly the reformed expression of it, is being real about reality. From the beginning in the garden of Eden, God didn’t deny what happened, didn’t foster conspiracy theories about it, didn’t ignore it or turn a blind eye to the real implications. God addressed it, and dealt with it in truth and in grace, even when God got tired of how long and how often and how much ‘sin’ got in the way of his design and love for people.
That leads me to reflect on our response to Covid. We can’t deny, or engage in conspiracy theories, or ignore what is going on. We need to face its presence and do the best we can to deal with it realistically, with faith and trust, while at the same time moving forward with the values and ‘program’ of God’s kingdom. That means we are, as followers of Christ, committed to being good citizens of community, caring for the safety and sensitivities of others, while making every effort to ensure faith and Christ’s call to discipleships and discipling remains at the center of who we are and how we live.
Here at West End that means we wear masks, sanitize hands, don’t sing when we gather for worship, and plan with physical distancing in mind. But we also are beginning to roll out ministry for a new season for children, for Seniors, for small groups and adult education, as well as reaching out to needs in our community. I’m glad we are, even while being concerned that we do it carefully and safely. We are the church in the world. Times have changed, but God’s call hasn’t. We’re in this together.