Dear New Philadelphia Family,
Are you getting used to it yet? We are into our third (or is it our fourth? Time has really become malleable) week of social distancing, and into our second week of having to stay at home, and this Sunday will be our fourth of having our worship service only online. So are you getting used to it yet?
I know that I am not. I am not used to working from an almost empty office, to preaching to an empty sanctuary, to not being able to see and interact with the people that I love, to be with you all. And I hope that I never do get used to it. Because then it becomes “normal” and there is nothing normal about any of this. So it is ok to feel frustrated and anxious and uncertain and alone. For that is what motivates us to do what needs to be done to get things back to the way that they were, to get them back to what we are used to. And maybe to get them back even better than they were before.
When all of this is over, when we can come together and worship and pray and sing and celebrate, when we can shake one another’s hands and hug each other, I think that we will appreciate it a lot more than we did before. What we once took for granted, we will now cherish. You never truly appreciate what you have until you lose it and get it back. What was old will have become new.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God spoke these words: “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43: 18-19) During this time when all of our “old things” are no longer happening, I believe that God is indeed doing something new. It is my hope and my prayer that we are able to perceive this “new thing” that God is doing as it continues to spring forth among us and for us. Let us remain together as God does this new work among us.
During this time of God doing something new, let us remember that the church is not closed, that our ministry continues. Please call or text or email your needs and prayer requests. For you are not alone, we are not alone. God is with us and we have each other.
With Christ’s Love,