Pastor’s Corner: Heart and Compassion

A communion chalice

March 17, 2021

Well. It’s been a year and a couple of days since we decided to shift to an online-only worship experience… for (we hoped) two weeks.

I guess we were wrong about that.

The two weeks became three and a half months. We welcomed worshipers once again in July, hoping that the falling cases of COVID-19 in the state and the county would become the norm. It wasn’t. We returned to a streaming worship only in August and have maintained it ever since.

Our caution has had its fruit. We have mostly had close calls with coronavirus in our congregation, but we have also been aware of just how dangerous the virus could be. When the illness swept through the Yukio Okutsu Veterans’ Home, it carried away Naoto Katada of our church as well as friends and family of many in our community. Other diseases and conditions have cost us friends and family, sadness and grief, in the last year – but if we hadn’t been so careful, we might have lost far more.

Let’s continue to be careful. There’s been a spike in COVID-19 diagnoses here on the Big Island. I don’t know the circumstances, but I do know that it means our caution is still required. A grocery store clerk recently wished me a good day and added, “Be safe.” She gave me awfully good advice.

I preached these words on March 15, 2020: “We can be confident of our good hearts and our compassion for our neighbors, because we’ve done it and we’ve seen it. We can be confident of our basic good sense, except possibly around toilet paper. We can be confident of our community’s resilience. Let’s give it every aid so that we can sustain that heart and compassion and good sense and resilience.”

I stick by those words. We’ve demonstrated our heart and compassion and good sense once more – there’s even toilet paper on the shelves again. Let’s continue to aid our community as we move slowly toward post-COVID days.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on March 17, 2021

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