What a Sunday this will be — back in our beautiful sanctuary, with Melinda at the pipe organ, your waving across the pews to long-missed friends, and everyone wearing face-masks! Yet many of you won’t be able to be present June 14, due to health concerns or quarantine rules in your living communities. Our pews will be, by our own design and your thoughtful decisions, much less full. But they will, nonetheless, be full of joy!
Has our three-month quarantine, in any way, hurt our church? Our church has shown wonderful resilience – continued participation in small groups, sustained giving, constant connection between members, and service to the community.
But we have been hurt – in a good way. Our hearts have broken over the illness and job losses of friends, family and nation. We’ve grieved the deaths of some dear friends, made worse because we couldn’t hug their family members and gather for a funeral.
But this hurt enables us to enter the mystical presence of Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sake. “By his stripes, we are healed.” “Worthy is the Lamb.” Now, we glimpse the truth of those hymns — the transforming power of a divine love so deep, it hurts for our sake!
This week’s sermon lesson is about a hurt and crippled leader. Jacob wrestles all night with God, who finally knocks out Jacob’s hip joint. But this wound makes Jacob a different person, now prepared to lead his nation.
As we regather this Sunday – Flag Day, in fact! — our beloved nation also feels wounded. We’ll meditate on God’s wisdom about hurting and wounds when we meet together this Sunday.