Jesus Set His Face towards Jerusalem – by Rev. Bill Smith

In a  time when my mind is usually focused on the lead up to Easter and the variety of ways in which we recognize and celebrate the Resurrection Story, today, like many of you, my thoughts revolve around Covid-19 and our response to this pandemic virus. As you are aware, our Council has cancelled services until Palm Sunday, April 5th and will be meeting toward the end of March to see if this remains a safe date. As important as Easter is to us as Christians, we can recognize and celebrate it at any given time throughout the year, but your health must be of primary importance as of now!

You may have noticed in recent bulletins that Holy Week Services had been planned. These involved a number of tactile activities, a pot-luck dinner, hand washing, and Communion to name a few. Even if we re-commence  services on Palm Sunday, these services will have to be modified or cancelled to ensure the safety of all. Please stay tuned to our web site or congregational mailings for updates.

It is hard to believe how a virus can make the world stand still. Schools and sporting teams, many offices and churches are heeding the concerns expressed by the WHO to be extra diligent in hand washing, do not gather is large groups and self-quarantine if you have any signs of symptoms.

As a faith community, we want to be here for you during this uncertainty. We are attempting to post ‘virtual worship experiences’ online. This is something that is new for us as it may be to you. Please be patient with us as we seek the best ways to reach out. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Feel free to email at any time or call if that would be better for you. Know that you are not alone. That is the first sentence in our Creed. While we may be practicing ‘social distancing’, we have a ‘spiritual closeness’ which is also contagious, but in a good way!

The Lenten journey begins with the Biblical phrase … and ‘Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem.’ There were many hardships along the way…human disappointment, emotional stress, physical pain. But, Jesus knew that his faith would  give him  strength to deal with this and that these things too would pass. At the end was the victory and the empty tomb.

The world has not stopped, only put on pause for a bit. May God give us strength in these times.  I look forward to the day, when we can say ‘the virus has passed’  and we can be reunited, face to face as the family of God.

In the meantime, keep safe, keep well, know the God’s presence surrounds you and soon we will be together to shout and celebrate. THE LORD IS RISEN … HE IS RISEN INDEED