We have reached the six month point in this pandemic life. That means we have not met together in person face-to-face for worship or study or prayer or voting or fellowship in more than six months. It feels like forever to many of us, and it is indeed a long time to go without seeing friends and family, neighbors and loved ones. All of the temporary ways in which we quickly and suddenly learned to adapt to sequestration have now become routine and normalized. We celebrated Holy Week and Easter online. We observed Pentecost online together. The Sunday School class is studying the weekly scriptures together by Zoom, and the Women’s Bible Study is gathering for fellowship and study and encouragement each Monday by Zoom. Words like Vimeo and MEVO and livestream have entered my daily vocabulary. And as I plan worship services, I find myself thinking things like “Will that read on camera the way I hope it will?”
I read something this morning that talked about ‘hitting the six-month wall’ in a crisis situation – when you are exhausted, ready to just go somewhere else or make it all go away. But in this case, the author points out, the crisis is global – there is no getting away from it. And, she argues, we are only one third of the way through this pandemic crisis. We are in this for the long-haul.
This means we have to adjust our expectations, pivot again, and settle into ways of being and interacting that are possible, even if they aren’t preferable. We might be able to have small groups of less than 10 people in worship in the next few months, or we might not. We might be able to gather again in groups of five or six for physically-distanced fellowship, or we might not.
Our faith is in a God who is able to overcome boundaries and barriers. If God can create a world out of nothing, God can hold together a community of friends in the midst of sequestration. If God can be born into our world in Jesus Christ and be resurrected from the tomb, God can be present with us wherever we are. If God can blow among disciples gathered in upper rooms behind locked doors, God can move among us through cameras and internet connections and social media sites.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed in these days, as we pass the six month mark, please reach out. I am ready to call, to talk on the phone, even to visit on your door step, masked and distanced. We have to find ways to make it past this mark and move into the long next phase of our life together. I know God is leading us; let’s follow!