This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
For Friday, July 24, 2020
This week I arrived at the church, about my usual time for our Sunday service recording. Some would say it’s an early start to the day, but in these hot weeks we’re grateful for a little bit of time for the sanctuary air conditioning to make it more comfortable. The early start is also a welcome balm, as I’ve always loved the peace, the quiet, the sanctuary that comes from being in this sacred space.
With that in mind, I would have been wise to wait a bit longer before checking my office phone messages. I’m not sure how to describe the one I found there, but I can start by saying it initially made me quite sad. I have no idea who left it, as the woman didn’t identify herself. I’m as certain as I can be about anything that it wasn’t someone from this congregational circle. Her words and ways just don’t fit with who you are. In a nutshell, our mystery caller was compelled to berate (I use that generously) our building closure. With hyperbole that sounded more akin to a political rally far south of here, she spoke of fake government, ‘man-made’ disease, and the global manufacture of a crisis, all so that we would “close our church” and God’s Word would be silenced. She said that we must be “false prophets”; that she’s looking for “a real pastor”, who isn’t afraid to baptize and confirm. She said a whole lot, but eventually she spoke longer than the message limit allowed, and whether she knew it or not, she was cutoff, mid-sentence.
Can you hear me sighing, still as I write this, hours later? It’s not something I take personally, at all, nor is it really anything to do with our congregation, or even our present choices in a very difficult time. I suspect other local congregations could report the same message having come their way. And yet, can you feel my sadness, at whatever it is that moved this woman to call as she did? Can you feel my lament, that somebody, somewhere, taught her that God would want anything to do with that kind of teaching?
It’s my read of Scripture against hers, I know. And so, I wonder, can you also hear me praying that there will come a day when God’s people – especially those who claim to follow Jesus – will find ways to share what we believe to be true, in ways that hold true to God’s overwhelming love? Can you hear me praying for patience and peace, for us all; and for strength to love one another, always, but especially through this long and bewildering time? Will you pray with me?
With extra love to, and gratitude for you all,
“I’ll shout it from the mountain top; I want my world to know:
the Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on.”
(Kurt Kaiser, “It Only Takes a Spark”, 1969)