Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
May is here! I understand if days and dates are all a blur. With little on our calendars and few places we can go, what difference does the sunrise from April 30 into May 1 make? Perhaps the biggest change is that it seems we are getting closer to the day when our restrictions begin to be lifted.
Bishop Bard has extended the time we are required to be apart to at least May 15. The Wesley Park Guidance Team meets Monday by teleconference to begin to consider the "how" and the "when" for our gradual, careful, thoughtful gatherings for worship. May 1 brings some extremely cautious optimism.
Caution is the key to this hope. I worry that people are so frustrated with being apart that we will let our guard down. A rush to gather together will only allow the virus to spread more quickly and be more deadly. Right now, there is not a clear sense that we will not cause others to suffer. On this first day of May, we do not know whether others will give us a life-threatening virus. Jesus was betrayed by a kiss. Our suffering could come in the form of a hug or handshake. I know we are anxious to get together again. I ask for your patience and your caution.
Yesterday, a small group of heavily-armed people made a show of themselves at the Michigan state capitol building. It seemed to be such a fearful response to the challenges of today. Is the weapon of choice to fight a virus a big gun? Of course not. Our best strategy is not to spread the virus from person to person.
1 Peter has some guidance for those who rile against leaders who are trying to keep us safe. "As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor." Of course, it is silly to equate any of our leaders to an emperor. The point is to trust that God is at work. So, let us treat one another with love and respect.
It is May! Let us rejoice and look forward cautiously to the ways we can gather together again at an appropriate time in a safe way. Thank you for your faithfulness.