Can you believe it? Summer vacation season is upon us, and the future looks promising.
Thanks to so many doing their due diligence with Covid precautions and getting their Covid vaccines, this summer holds the possibility of travel, picnics, backyard barbeques, family reunions, and a host of other activities we all took for granted before last year. It seems that we all missed so much of what was once routine, and we are so very thankful that this summer stretches out before us filled with bright hope.
I want to personally thank you for what you did to help us get to this place of hope as a congregation. I understand that not everyone was happy with some of the safety measures we implemented over the past 15 months or so, but you made the necessary sacrifices to care for one another by doing what was asked of you. Because of your willingness to set aside your own preferences for the greater good, we are coming out on the other side of our Covid trial.
It is no coincidence that we spent so much time in John’s Gospel over the past few months. It is in John’s Gospel where we hear Jesus saying over and over again “Love one another as I have loved you.” If there was one reminder than we all needed to hear over these past fifteen months, it was this New Commandment about how to care for one another. We only have to look as far as our Bibles to see Jesus sacrificing time and again for others – for his disciples, friends, strangers, and even his enemies. Ultimately, He sacrificed his very life for the welfare of the whole world. His sacrificial nature and love serve as our example, and I am so grateful for your willingness to follow Jesus’ example of loving others during this difficult and stressful time. You have been faithful, and I am truly thankful.
One of my favorite old hymns is, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The last verse with chorus goes like this:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth.,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow;
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed, thy hand hath provided;
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
I believe that we may be more aware now than ever of the truth of this old hymn. God has been faithful, offering God’s “own dear presence to cheer and to guide” during these past fifteen months. My prayer for Disciples is that we experience that “bright hope for tomorrow” as we move into this summer filled with new mercies.
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