If you have ever had surgery and received a General Anesthetic you know what it is like to be awake one second and waking up in what seems like the next second and saying, “Is it over?” Then you realize a lot of time has transpired in that brief moment. Someday this long running double feature called a Pandemic will be over. What will we take from it? Will it just be a brief moment in our lives as we get back to where we were? Will we remember the lessons or just be happy to get back to where we were when interrupted? Will we remember what we lost and what we gained? We gained time but what did we do with it? It seems like a long time since March. The last time for some when they had employment, the last time for some when they went to school, the last time for some when they went to church, the last time for some when they saw extended family, the last time for a movie and dinner out, the last time for so many things. Vacations, weddings, showers and even funerals have been cancelled. When we do those things again will we have a new appreciation for them, will we savor them, will we watch and listen more carefully knowing that this moment can be taken away at any time, will we look at things and people anew realizing that this could be the last time? Life slowed down, days were longer, some cooked more from scratch, and some spent a lot more time with family. There were lessons learned. For me, it was that I didn’t have to be so rigid about bath time for my husband, that I could relax and just enjoy the quiet, that supper could be breakfast, that ice cream and popcorn could be just as filling as meat and potatoes, that if he didn’t get up until 2 PM the world wouldn’t end. If I had known that the last kiss would be the last, that the last “I love you,” would be the last, that the last time we talked would be the last or the last hug, would I have savored it more? One of the lessons from a Pandemic or from a death should be treasure the moment.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Lord, we come to you today with gratitude for all you have given us, for the food on the table, for the shelter of our homes, for the love of those around us, for our church, for our country. Be with us and as we gradually return to normal, may we appreciate what we have with a renewed gratefulness. Be with those who are ill, those who mourn, those who are lost. May all find your loving arms waiting to embrace and comfort them. Be with our Pastor, bless his ministry, keep him well and be with his family. Be with our staff and leaders, give them renewed strength and your guidance. Be with our church may we be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as we seek to do your will. In Jesus name, Amen.