Pastor’s Corner: Nerves

The sanctuary of Church of the Holy Cross with folding chairs.

I don’t know that I’ve been this nervous contemplating a worship service for some years.

I said it pretty clearly last Sunday during the streaming service: I love you all very much. I very much want to see you. I very much do not want to see you getting sick, being hospitalized, or dying.

We believe that infection levels are low enough on Hawai’i Island that the risk of COVID-19 infection is acceptable. That’s what we believe… We pray that we are right.

We have taken steps to reduce the risks of infection further by making space between people worshiping, developing a cleaning plan, directing everyone to wash or sanitize their hands as they enter, and requiring masks. A lot of these steps will detract from our experience of worship. I know it. We all know it. Our hearts will ache a little – at least mine will.

Our challenge, once again, is to find the Spirit when we cannot safely share our breath. We faced it when moving to an online experience; we face it anew with a worship time that simply cannot resemble what we’ve had before. Our challenge is to feel the love around us as we carefully keep our distance. Our challenge is to love one another enough to refrain from the embraces we yearn to give.

Our challenge, as always, is to open our hearts to the movement of God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not move according to our experience or expectations; the Holy Spirit moves as it will. As nervous as I am, I am certain of this: wherever we are on Sunday, whether at home or in the sanctuary of Church of the Holy Cross, the Holy Spirit will be with us. The Spirit has always been with us, is with us now, and will be with us always.

May we rejoice in it.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

This reflection appeared in the July 1, 2020, issue of The Messenger.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on July 21, 2020

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