So begins so many of Paul’s epistles to the people of faith as they live into their lives of faith and faith in the community. So I begin as you and I, the people of Saint Barnabas and I, your resource priest for these next days as we move forward together in a new and sometimes awkward world. Around us, the world has changed and now as on any journey, we are adapting. We are attempting to figure out what to take forward and what can be left behind. Even simple things like the way that we gather for worship and the way we manage the business of the church have been rethought and redesigned so that we can do our work and keep ourselves and one another safe. I find myself so hungry for the words of scripture. I think of those multitudes of times when the angels of the Lord come to people like me and say, “Fear not, for I am with thee.” Or times when God’s people stop and listen for God’s direction and move in faith. One reassuring thought is that when God calls to us God does not expect perfection. God knows our humanity and realizes that missteps will be taken. But God also knows our human spirit: that we will pick ourselves up, hopefully, learn a thing or two, and continue the journey.
As we regather for worship we are learning. We know that gathering together as pilgrims on the journey of faith is part and parcel of who we are. We know that receiving the empowering body and blood of Christ is both life-giving and life-sustaining. We know that hearing and being informed by the word of God is the very energy that moves us forward. As Paul begins it is by the grace of God that we live as God’s beloved. So as we gather to worship and give praise to God be observant. What is working and what needs further attention? As we regather be thankful for all the labor that has gone into being able to come together. As we regather find ways of expressing gratitude to God who has brought us to this moment. As always seek ways to express your faith in a loving and gracious God to all who you meet.