July 31, 2020 (Week 20)
Sisters and Brothers, Shalom!
Did you ever see the “Six Million Dollar Man”? It was the story of a man who’d been in a terrible aviation accident that should have ended him. Instead he was rebuilt with ultra-high tech bionics. He was different, and he would never be the same as he was before. But he would be “better than he was before; better, stronger, faster.”
Our language speaks volumes of our experience. What we’re going through, what we’re feeling in general, is betrayed by the words we use. (At least, what we perceived that quality of experience to be.) There are some words and phrases with which I’m becoming quite fatigued: unprecedented times; uncertain times; new normal; etc., etc. No one is especially to blame here; I’ve used them all myself. The problem is not that they are inaccurate, but they do set us up with a particular way of seeing the world. It tends to be predetermined and somewhat defeatist.
I am convinced that now more than ever, we need to be intentional in the use of language that is both positive and forward thinking. What we have right now is nothing short of glorious opportunity. Opportunity to change and improve and perfect the way we do things. This is intentionally taking a longer view of things. No one knows yet how much longer we’ll have to live with the unmanageable threat of COVID-19, but what we should know....what we DO know is this: God is in charge! God will always be in control! God has never not had us safely in the palms of God’s hands! We may have lost sight of that fact, but it remains gloriously true.
I’m excited by what God is showing us right now. First, a new way to do ministry! Second, a new perspective; oriented to opportunity and possibility, rather than inconvenience and limitation. One might even say that we’re going to be “better, stronger, faster!”
So that is the mindset with which you’re going to be seeing me operate in the days ahead. It is undoubtedly true that I was in shock along with everyone else, but now is the time to move past that.
As we get closer to the fall season, we’re looking at ways to adapt to this new situation for worship and Christian education. Our Outreach Committee is exporting a myriad of ways to strengthen our presence in, and our welcome to our community. In the immediate context, we are constantly reflecting in ways to improve and strengthen what we are doing: what things are effective and helpful and how should we modify or change our approach? ‘Change’ is a word that is not easily embraced by Lutherans, but it is a function of God’s gift of opportunity.
You can continue to access all of our ministry initiatives online by going to our website (https://www.godamong.us) and clicking on the “ILC Online Activities” box. But don’t be surprised in the coming days, if things are changed up a bit as we seek to take hold of the new opportunities God is showing us.
As you traverse these days, please please please, intentionally seek to deepen your faith by regularly (daily) opening God’s Word. Stay connected in worship and devotions. And if you need anything, let your church help you. We’re here for you...only a call, text, FaceTime, or Zoom away. As always, each and everyone of you remain daily in our prayers!
In Christ’s service,
- After worship, around 11 am, Darrell and Nancy Datte host our after worship coffee/donut fellowship time (BYOC/D) on Zoom, and look forward to welcoming everyone in our community. Please think about joining in and saying hi to your brothers and sisters. That gathering can be found here: