I heard Makoto Fujimura say that our churches will need new wine skins for our new wine after this pandemic. The world will be different. We will all be different. We will seek the Lord more desperately. I think we will all need new wine skins to hold the fermented fruit of this season.
God has drawn us away from the business of life and invited us into his quiet, contemplative presence. That has changed us. We are remembering to enjoy our families again. We are remembering to enjoy him again. We are searching for the depth and richness of the everyday. We are gardening and baking and playing. We are makers again. We are creating and sustaining life alongside You. O, how we have missed this. We have remembered to pray again. We pray for our neighbors and send toilet paper and hold parades and ask people how they are doing. We are more like You right now.
Silence is healing. I read that on a sign in the surgery center while waiting on Dr. Mike Tschoepe to fix my friend Kenny's eyes. It was ironic because the tv was on, but the words glued themselves to me. I have thought about them several dozen times. The world went quiet. It grieved with us. It sang together. It quit celebrating the huge feats of celebrity and applauded human kindness. You have learned to teach online. You are homeschooling. You have parked in hospitals collectively with your blinkers flashing and prayed for the staff and patients. You have figured out how to love your congregations. You have called people to ask how they are holding up. You have masked up and gloved up and fed the homeless. It has been a joy to see you care. Thank you. Thank you for caring for us all. Your kindness is a teacher.
Jesus, show us how to hold deeply to the silence you speak in. Show us how to hold fast to compassion and mercy. Show us the beauty hidden in the everyday.
"There are burning bushes all around us." -Makoto Fujimura
May I take this holy hush forward with me. May we all see the sacred in the simple moments of our lives. Those moments that we have long neglected are the moments that we could easily be overcome by holiness, but we have been afraid to actually talk to you for a long time. So we light a candle. We pause and breathe deeper than we have in possibly years. We see you quite clearly. Your common grace is felt. Help us to remember.