Sacrament in the Time of Pandemic

        It is taught among us that the Word of God and the Sacraments, those rites commanded by Jesus, are at the center of our worship lives together as family of God.  

        Our Sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion, were mandated by Jesus, use earthly elements and hold a heavenly promise. 

        In Baptism we are claimed as members of the church, God’s holy family on earth. By water, the earthly element, connected with the Word of God, we are promised eternal life and forgiveness of sin.

        In Holy Communion we are nurtured in the life of faith through the body & blood of Jesus in the earthly elements of bread and wine. We are again promised forgiveness of our sin and everlasting life along with the courage and consolation of the real presence of Christ with us.

        In times of plague, and this time of pandemic, it is not prudent or safe to share communion as we always have – alternatives are fraught with both theological and physical hazards. Yet, we yearn. We yearn for the connections once so easily had with God and with each other.  

        The earthly elements of the sacraments are tangible remembrance of God’s real presence with us. In our daily lives busyness and noise distract and occupy our time so it is not so easy to notice God. But, we are promised God is with us always and that is what we must hold onto, until we can come back together and share bread and wine. 

        I ask you, yes even challenge you, to set apart a bit of time to notice God sitting with you,

  • listen to God’s song in your heart,
  • feel God’s arms holding you close,
  • smell the joy of God’s air,
  • taste the sweetness of God’s love,
  • see the beauty in God’s gift of the earth.

And then, as an extraordinary act of community,

  • bring to mind those people that you cherish – don’t set an agenda –   simply hold them in God’s presence.
  • bring to mind those with whom you struggle,   hold them in God’s presence.
  • bring to mind those in the world you barely know, or don’t even know,   again simply hold them in God’s presence.   

        God is with us and brings us together in mystery. The earthly elements of the sacraments infuse us with grace and courage, freedom and love. God infuses us with grace and courage, freedom and love.  

        For now, let your sacrament be your yearning,

  • for justice
  • for mercy
  • for inclusion
  • for love
  • for God in all things.

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