Preparing for Worship 8/30/2020

Are you all tired of COVID separation? Are you wishing we could get back to unrestricted corporate worship? Are you missing singing? I know I am, all of the above. We have all had to find ways to stay sane, to keep the faith, and to connect with each other. Three different book studies have been very supportive for me. The first is The Liturgy of the Ordinary with Pastor Hoffmann after Easter. The second is Inspired by Rachel Held Evans with the women’s fellowship and led by Pastor Amy. The third – Everyday Spirituality by James Hazelwood in the Midweek Bible Study. They all connect for me in that as we are more at home than not, daily life is a spiritual exercise. Doing my chores with focus in the moment elevates them to prayer. God is with us in the dailyness of life because God is always with us. Inspired is not so much about the ordinary in life but rather a whole new way to read and think about the Bible and that has been very stimulating to my faith. What if Job were about COVID? What if the women who are presented mostly as peripheral at best are really some of the the central figures? What if we remembered all the time that the New Testament epistles were written to those specific people and so what is there has a context different from ours? Thought experiments…. This “phase” has been an opportunity to try something different; for me it has been surrendering to the reality we live in instead of resisting. So enjoying the ordinary has become a habit. I have always regarded cooking and baking as spiritual practices because I love doing them and especially for others (although cooking and baking for myself is also necessary). But practicing putting the same attention on the rest of the household activities is new. However, for the duration of our COVID restrictions, I have the time to treat each moment as important. Maybe I will even maintain that attitude when things go back to normal, whatever and whenever that may be. Certainly we will all be thankful when we can be worshipping more normally and participating in church in person again. For now though, from Thomas Merton,

“Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.”
Kris Kerr