Our regathered worship continues to generate joy and relief! It’s great to be “in-person.” And it’s great to be personal. Our intentionally smaller worship feels like a group of friends.
The personal is powerful, and it is distinctly holy.
In this Sunday’s scripture lesson, about God’s care of the sparrows, Jesus makes that very point. Sparrows are common, everywhere, nondescript, even regarded – by some – as nuisance. “On, it’s just another sparrow.” But Jesus says that God sees each one personally, and cares for each in their lives and deaths.
God’s personal love is what saves us — and enables us to save each other.
I am reminded of a real life-situation that shows this truth. In the first intense weeks of the Corona Virus in New York City hospitals, doctors and nurses were overwhelmed by the scores of people dying. They were under pressure to clear the room, get the body out, and move on to the next patient — to treat their deceased patients impersonally.
It was this impersonal ethos that drove many medical staff to tears and exhaustion. They had to resist. Gradually, most of them began to practice, “The Pause.” All the medical workers who’ve been involved in the care of the person assemble in the room, around the deceased, almost immediately after death. The deceased person’s name is spoken, and a moment of silence descends. After this fulsome silence, someone will say, “Thank you.” The Pause is over. But the power of the personal saves the souls of those medical workers.
This Sunday, we’ll reflect on Jesus’s teaching about the power of the personal, as he talks about the sparrows.