09 Feb A Surge of Hope…
I am on the proverbial “Cloud 9” this morning after watching my Razorbacks defeat #1 ranked Auburn in basketball last night. It was a thrilling game going to overtime, no less, and it looked like large sections of Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville never sat down for a single minute of the action. It was an historic battle in many ways, and fans mobbed the court afterward. I am rather elated over this 9-game winning streak the Hogs have going, and I’m sure my voice will recover from last night eventually. 😊 After all, they couldn’t have pulled off the upset without my armchair coaching from 1200 miles away!
Actually, I was already walking with an extra spring in my step even before the game. Sunday was also thrilling to me—having more folks back together for worship followed by the annual Congregational Meeting. Thank you again for your patience and perseverance during the long Covid saga. Despite how hard it has been at times to do church—just like it’s been hard to do our family, work, and personal lives—you have demonstrated extraordinary faithfulness, creativity, generosity, care, and tenacity. I am humbled and grateful.
It was a joy to experience God in our worship and fellowship and even in our business on Sunday. And I don’t know about you, but I felt an immense surge of hope. Omicron is abating. This week we have had a few days of respite from the arctic deep-freeze of winter, a welcome reminder that Spring will surely arrive in a few weeks. The energy of singing and praying together was invigorating.
This weekend we will celebrate Super Bowl Sunday by participating in our annual Souper Bowl of Caring offering. The soup pots are already in place; the signs with the logos of the Cincinnati Bengals and LA Rams are ready. This offering gives us a chance to show our support for one of the teams while ministering to those who are hungry and suffering from food insecurity in our community. Last year we missed getting to make this offering in person, as we were not yet back in the sanctuary for worship. For me, the presence of these two soup pots is another small step toward reclaiming some of what we have missed during the pandemic. It is another sign of faithfulness—God’s and yours—and of hope that our future is bright.
And in another sign of hope and reclaiming our communal life together, please mark March 2nd on your calendar. That is Ash Wednesday, and thanks be to God, we will gather in the Calvary sanctuary with the saints from Bush Hill, Heritage, and Mt. Vernon churches for our annual Taize worship. The service will start at 7 p.m., and I am delighted to be able to welcome back our sister congregations to start the Lenten season together. Another step. Another promise of good things to come because God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.
And oh, by the way, Woo Pig Sooie!!!
Yours for the Kingdom,