A Personal Message from the Council President
I don’t know how each of you feel, but the emotions on a daily basis range from optimism that this will all pass in a few months to fear that the world will be forever changed and not in the best way. I, like many of you, just want to go back to November when COVID-19 did not exist or January when it had not crossed our borders. I miss traveling, going to restaurants, attending the theater, shopping just to browse, entertaining, running errands without worrying, and above all, attending church with you. I miss the fellowship of being with others face to face. I too worry about every trip to the grocery store and the more I stay in, the more I am afraid to leave the house and yard. I find myself teetering on the edge of being in the at-risk population and I worry and pray that our more senior population and those with health issues will stay safe and unaffected. I suspect you each know the same feelings.
Your church council has made the sensible decision to cancel face to face church through the month of April based on the federal guidance of April 30th and the expectation that St. Louis County and St. Louis City sheltering in place might be extended further. This is especially difficult since we begin the Holiest of Seasons this Sunday with Palm Sunday. While we cannot wave palms together face to face, grab a leaf or a branch or a silk flower and wave them during our on-line service on Sunday at 10:00am on FaceBook Live and celebrate Jesus’s triumphal parade into Jerusalem and don’t forget to put that green branch of any type on your front door. Mine will go with my Easter egg wreath.
I have also been reflecting on this time and place and have decided that this is our, all generations post-World War II, big crisis. I certainly hope there isn’t another one bigger than this in our lives. While we have seen multiple wars, 9/11, and other health scares, nothing since World War II has really changed our daily lives more than this. I take solace from the Greatest Generation who lived through World War II, dealing with rationing of food, gasoline and anything that was needed to support our troops. I think about the families who worried and prayed on a daily basis for the safe return of their sons and daughters who were fighting to keep a world free. They lived through almost four years of American involvement in World War II with constant worry. Those who were fighting the battles did not know if they would survive to see their loved ones. If our parents, grand-parents and great grand-parents could live through this struggle and create the country that we know and love in the aftermath, we too shall find a way forward and, by working together, we will see the other side of the crisis.
During this time may we rely on our faith in God, sharing our fears and our thanksgiving which might be as little as finding those paper products at the store. May we be thankful for the doctors and nurses who are risking their lives to save others as well as the grocery store workers. May we always remember that God is walking with us through our troubles. When we stumble and have doubts, the Holy Spirit is there to be with us and guide us back to a strengthened faith. We know that we are saved by the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross and when we look at a cross in our homes on this Good Friday, our concerns about the future will pale. We live because of what He did for us and this is the gift that those of every generation have remembered to deal with times such as these. While our Holy Week will be very different this year, the message is still the same and perhaps, just as it was during the time of World War II, just that much more meaningful.