OK, no promises here, but I really miss writing and I’d like to find my way back into the habit of this blog. This isn’t a New Year’s Resolution, the timing is purely coincidental. Still, if you’d like to offer words of encouragement or accountability, they’d be welcomed.
By my calculations, today is Monday in the 43rd week of Coronatide. That’s forty-three weeks since Tom Hanks and Rudy Gobert changed the world. Forty-three weeks of varying degrees of stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, and virtual meeting. In my congregation’s context, that’s forty-three weeks since we’ve had any kind of normal, in-person, worship. While there is hope on the horizon in the form of a vaccine, today feels a lot less like January 4, 2021 and more like December 35, 2020.
After 43 weeks of #ThatPandemicLife, it is pretty easy to feel like the whole world is formless and void. Watching the news, it isn’t too far of a leap to imagine what the chaos of the pre-creation, unordered world of Genesis 1 might have felt like. Everything feels unmoored by now. Whether it is the patterns of our school, work, social, religious, or political lives, nothing has been left untouched by the chaos of 2020.
The story of creation reminds us, however, that before anything came into order, God is there. God is present in the formless and void. God is present in the chaos and upheaval. God is present in the pandemic. More than that, God is at work. The ministry of presence, as they liked to call it in seminary, might be 90% of what is needed, but that last 10% requires something. In the case of Genesis 1, it needed God to speak, “Let there be light.” At the River Jordan, Jesus needed God to speak, “You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.” And in this 43rd week of Coronatide, maybe we need a reminder that not only is God present with us, but God continues to be at work in the world, bringing about restoration and healing to a world that desperately needs it. Maybe this week, dear friends, God will use you to speak hope into the chaos. Maybe it is you who will help bring order into a world that feels formless and void.