Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Slowly... Carefully... One Foot in Front of the Other...

Written by  Jim Nakoneshny


To poorly paraphrase the Dickens line: It’s been the worst of times; it’s been the best of times.

It’s very easy for us to recall the “worst” parts of this past year of life in the midst of a global health pandemic – isolation, fear, sickness, death, loss of income; lives and business disrupted in countless ways. 

The many changes in habits and routines that have developed over this past 12 months would have been unthinkable merely weeks before the pandemic began. Most social interaction has slowed to a crawl. Visiting has stopped, group gatherings have stopped, celebrations have stopped. The few public interactions that have remained (banking, shopping, worship) have been scaled back to a brief in-and out experience, when they occur in person at all. I’d imagine that this would be similar to the effects of living under a cloud of war – with some people being considerably closer to the front lines than others. 

At first, all of this seemed incredibly difficult for people to deal with, yet being the resilient and adaptable creatures that humans are, for most of us, the radical became routine. We found ways to get on with our lives, with our work, with our families. That, we have learned, is the “best” part of this experience. We’ve discovered that even when the sky is apparently falling, life goes on. We adapt. We grow. We eventually even thrive. 

This week, we enter as a church community into the mystery of Holy Week. Most years it is the busiest time of the church year, with thousands of visitors gathering to worship over the course of a few days - in our building alone. Last year, Easter occurred with a congregation size of zero. It was almost unthinkable, but it happened. And it worked. Parishioners joined in from their homes as they’ve done every week since. 

Attendance limits for worship are slowly opening up and we are carefully allowing more of our community to gather, while still ensuring adequate distancing and comprehensive disinfection practices. For many people, the thought of gathering together with even 150 others is too much and they’ve chosen to continue to wait for a while before returning in person. For those feeling impatient and wanting things to move along more quickly, the specter of Regina’s sudden new clampdown amidst a galloping variant outbreak provides perhaps a cautionary tale. In the meantime, we’ll welcome a few hundred visitors next week instead of thousands and hope for better times to come. 

To greatly stretch an analogy, if we can cast our imaginations back even further, perhaps this past year of disruption makes it slightly easier to imagine what the apostles faced and felt during that original passion week. Their lives disrupted, their hopes dashed, their future bleak. Maybe this year we’ll be better able to relate to their states of mind having experienced a small part of that chaos ourselves. Yet, eventually they too discovered that even when the sky is apparently falling, life goes on. We adapt. We grow. We eventually even thrive… 

Read 1359 times Last modified on Wednesday, March 24, 2021