18 Aug Finding Ourselves in the Days of the Pandemic
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13
While Covid 19 has brought uncertainty and fear to our lives, it has also brought new ways in which we are able to see ourselves, others, and the world at large. Living each day differently, as we come to terms with pandemic challenges, we have discovered that, through the Grace of the Holy Spirit, we are more resourceful than we ever could have imagined!
“Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.” -Romans 12:12
We may be stuck inside, but we’ve found joy in virtual visits, games, and activities with our friends and family. We’re staying close to our church family through virtual worship services, ZOOM get-togethers and supportive calls and emails from our clergy. We’re enjoying the online performances of our world’s most accomplished solo musical performers, orchestras, comedians, and others, who have so generously offered us these happy, rich diversions. We’re conducting business online, and our celebrations— including birthdays, graduations, retirement parties, and so many other events— have brought a new and positive meaning to a Drive By! Our loved ones send us feel good videos, ones that make us laugh, and ones that touch our hearts, as we watch people from the world over sharing kindness and love. What joy we’ve found in renewing old friendships and in seeing our present-day relationships blossom. And, here’s a really great thing; kids, and adults alike, are reading more than ever!
Perhaps these days of quarantine have been hardest on our children. And yet, one of the more positive aspects of staying inside has been to see our kids GROWING TIRED OF COMPUTER SCREENS! While we’re used to prying electronic devices from resentful faces and tight-gripping hands, we now see our young ones more interested in finding entertainment within their own imaginative worlds.
“Be still and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46
Parents and other adults who care for children, have had the opportunity to lead by example, showing our youth RESILIENCE. And, often times, our kids are showing us how to rise to the occasion when life’s challenges might, otherwise, take us down. Certainly, a gift of the pandemic has been the opportunity to halt the frenetic pace of our lives and be still—to reside in the moment. The idea of living in the moment has never been more needed, as we deal with the uncertainties of the future. We’re counting our blessings as never before.
The Earth is the Lord’s, and all the fullness thereof: The world and they that dwell therein. -Psalm 24:1
Spending time outside has not been much of an option until recently, and now that we’re getting out there… we’re seeing the world around us with new eyes. We’re finding so much gratitude for the simple pleasures and treasures of life… thankful for pathways to walk, fresh air to breathe, the dance of birds in spring and their enchanting birdsong. The grace of a gentle sunrise, dramatic sunsets, a full moon rising from the lake, freshly mowed grass, the soothing sounds of waves greeting the shore, the whimsical flight of butterflies and bees—all of these things that enchant our senses, have awakened us to FULLY to take in God’s world.
For the beauty of the earth
The lyrics to the hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth were written by English poet and hymnodist Folliott S. Pierpoint. Pierpont spoke of having been “mesmerized” by the verdant English countryside of Bath, as he wrote this piece in 1864. The most endearing of his hymns, Pierpont originally penned this work as a Eucharistic hymn entitled The Sacrifice of Praise. The original refrain read, “Christ, our God, to Thee we raise, this, our sacrifice of praise,” and was later changed to what we sing today: “Lord of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.”
Theologian Dr. C. Michael Hahn tells us, “The later refrain, ‘Lord of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise,’ broadens the focus of the original hymn from Christ’s sacrifice to one of gratitude for all creation and “Lord of all.'”
A Feast for the Senses!
Delight your ears with this beautiful arrangement and exquisite voice of Heather Prusse. Your eyes will delight, too, as you take in the beautiful images shown. click here.