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Anticipation

Our Star Words for 2022 have gone out and folks are bringing them up in conversation. It’s so fun (and rewarding) to know that stuff that is offered through the church is received well and put to use (or at least given some consideration).

The envelope Greg and I received included “anticipation,” “contemplate” and “buoyancy.” I picked anticipation, maybe for obvious reasons since I am looking forward to my upcoming sabbatical, but that’s not all. I know fully well that Star Words have a tendency to surprise us. The little paper star with the word “anticipation” floating across its center has already started pulling a few surprises. And, yes, it has to do with COVID.

As indicated in our notes for this coming Sunday, we are preparing to maybe (pay attention to the “maybe”) return to virtual worship if needed. We’re still planning to worship in person but we’re doing some things to get ready just in case.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I’ve known all along that we could be facing these decisions and uncertainties again (and again and again). Until this crazy virus runs its course (which could be quite some time), I anticipate that these swings will simply be part of life. As I sent notices out to staff members and church leaders, one person wrote back, “We know how to do this.” (Have I ever mentioned how grateful I am for the grace and wisdom of the people I get to work with?)

Yes, we know that we can continue to anticipate future disruptions in our lives as we seek to care for our health and the well-being of others. We can anticipate that we will be faced with more challenging decisions. We can anticipate that we will experience frustration, exhaustion and anxiety. And, we can anticipate beyond that.

Psalm 121 is a favorite for many and it seems fitting for these times:

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.

The Psalmist reminds us to anticipate the active presence and help that comes from God. So, while we’re expending a lot of energy in anticipation of what the virus will do next, I invite you to share some of that energy in anticipation of what God will do as well.

Be well. Watch your email, the church’s website and Facebook page for updates on worship for this coming week. Anticipate the love of God.

Rev. Lynne

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