Pastor’s Corner (3/26/2020)
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Mt. 3:17
My 33rd ordination anniversary on 15 March was probably one of the most unique ones I’ve had. Since it was the first Sunday without corporate worship it felt a bit odd, kind of like a snow day. But now that the weeks are marching on and we are embracing the probability that this will go on for several weeks, the reality of it all is hitting home.
Yesterday I realized that I am experiencing a sense of grief. I miss seeing everyone and being together on Sundays. Perhaps we are getting a taste of what it is like for our homebound members. So, it’s important to keep connected and celebrate the signs of our community, even as we are separated from one another. When I came into the office last week I was greeted with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that were intended to be shared in the chancel for worship on the 15th. They were a gift in honor of my ordination anniversary, and as you can tell by the picture, they were beautiful! Thank you for this lovely gift, I am so grateful for you all.
I suspect all of us are using this time in different ways. Things have not slowed down much here, it’s just a different pace. All of us here at the church are working to help us stay connected with God and one another. As many of you may know, I am also enrolled in an online course with Phillips Seminary on “Disciples History and Polity.” I am taking this course to obtain full standing in the Region. This past weekend I spent my time preparing a paper on baptism. If you’re having insomnia issues let me know and I can send you a copy! It has been quite interesting for me to learn about baptism from the perspective of the founders of this denomination. Alexander Campbell gave a great deal of thought to the subject. He looks to the story of the baptism of Jesus (see Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11 and Luke 3:21-22).
Although each account is a bit different, all three have God’s voice calling Jesus my “beloved son.” We are invited to put ourselves in the story and to hear God call each of us by name and God calls us each “beloved.” While I am fortunate enough to celebrate another year of called ministry, we are all called as God’s beloved children.
In these challenging times, may we remember we are each called by name and cherished as God’s beloved.