Pastor’s Ponderings

As of the time of my writing this, 2,217,005 people around the world, including 439,955 people in the United States, have died from the COVID-19 pandemic since it began a year ago.  For some, these are just numbers, data and figures from far away places that don’t really have any impact on us.  Yet, in recent weeks it seems, many in our community and congregations have begun to feel the immediate impact of this virus as it touched loved ones near and far.  As of this day, 16 people from our own Sussex County have succumbed to the ravages of the virus.  16 of our community members.  16 of God’s children.  As of this writing, I have been notified of at least 2 family members of people on our Parish who have died after battling the disease, and I have lost count of the numbers of immediate and extended family members of our parishioners that have fought or are continuing to fight the symptoms and illnesses that it brings. This battle is not just somewhere else in the world.  It is right here at home, too.         

            This week, as I reflected upon these events, I found myself once again rereading the account of John Wesley’s passing.  As the founder of the Methodist movement lay on his deathbed on March 2, 1791, at the age of 87, it is reported that his last words were, “The best of all, God is with us.”  If we really think about it, those are some pretty profound words, aren’t they?  In his last moments, with everything he had accomplished to help advance the Kingdom on earth, the thing that Mr. Wesley pronounced as being “best of all” was that “God is with us.”  GOD IS WITH US!

            Even in these moments of struggle with what is happening around us, God has never left us.  God has never forsaken us.  God is still with us.  Can you see that?  Can you see God at work in your life, even in the midst of pain, suffering, and even death?

            [God said] “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen 28:15, NRSV)

            [Jesus said] “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b, NRSV)

            We are in the divine presence 24/7, all year long.  God promised this to us.  Jesus reminded us of this.  We need only remind ourselves and open our eyes to see and our ears to hear.  “…the best of all, God is with us.”

                                                                                    Pastor Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *