It can close schools. It can close libraries. It can close just about everything–my yoga studio and even my church.
But it cannot close my eyes to the gentle sway of the birch’s pale green heart-shaped leaves. Not the coal black olives still clinging to silvery branches. No it cannot close my eyes to the evening shadows on duck ponds, or the billowing clouds floating aimlessly above me, oblivious to the chaos below.
It cannot close my ears to the words of prophets, priests and poets. Oh, the poets. Their words transcend statistics, and render beauty and pathos instead. It cannot close my ears to the kindness of neighbors who check in to see if we need anything. Or the prayers of the faithful shared each day.
It cannot close my nose to the heady perfume of the lilac dripping with raindrops, nor the roses along the now quiet street. It cannot suppress the aroma of freshly baked bread. Sauteed onions and garlic. Chutney with fresh cilantro and mint from my garden, nor the bitter tang of arugula drenched in olive oil and newly plucked lemons.
It cannot close my heart to the tender gaze of my lover, nor to the beautiful, poignant words I digest early each morning from the stacks of books surrounding me in my little room.
It cannot quarantine my life, mask my face, nor infect me with fear, try as it might.
I choose to begin again. Each day. Each hour. Each minute.
I choose Love over security, because I am first loved.
I choose crossing the threshold into the mystery of not knowing what will unfold.
I choose to surrender to Divine Love and inhale the intoxicating Truth.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18a)
“We love because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19)
If you go to the above page, you should be able to see our livestream on Sunday morning. We’ll be testing and playing around with it the thirty minutes or so beforehand, but Lord willing, we’ll have it all up and going by 9 a.m. You can access it on a phone or tablet or computer. My suggestion is that you use a computer, or even better still is put it up on a bigger screen.
The Service of the Word
This Sunday we will be doing the Service of the Word portion of the Divine Service. That means the confession and absolution, Introit, Kyrie, Collect, Readings, and the like. We obviously cannot have the Lord’s Supper. But the Word will be proclaimed, God’s praises will be sung, and we will pray to our Lord for His mercy during this time of trial.
You may download and follow along in the bulletin by CLICKING HERE.
The service begins on page 184 of Lutheran Service Book. The readings are as follows:
1st Reading: Ezekiel 37:1–14
Epistle: Romans 8:1–11
Gospel: John 11:1–45
The hymns are :
915 Today Your Mercy Calls Us
552 O Christ, Who Shared Our Mortal Life, sts. 1, 9–10, 4
548 Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious
Zoom Fellowship and Bible Class
Over the past ten days or so, we have been using a company and software package called Zoom to do our online interactions. I tried it out as a bible class with some of our men this past Friday, and it worked great! Go to Zoom.us and you can download the software. They have versions for Windows or Mac, iOS and Android. I would suggest doing it today so that you don’t have to try and figure it out tomorrow morning.
Topic: Sunday Fellowship and Bible Class Time: After Church (about 10) until 11:00 a.m.
If you go to the above page, you should be able to see our livestream. We’ll be testing and playing around with it the fifteen minutes beforehand, but Lord willing, we’ll have it all up and going by 12 o’clock.
We will be doing Responsive Prayer II for this service, with three hymns.
If you CLICK HERE, you can download the bulletin for the service as a PDF file.
I expect the service will be 25 minutes.
We will post it on YouTube shortly after the service ends.