Rev's Revelations

by Pastor Katie Chullino

 

For a few weeks now, my mind keeps remembering a poem, "To a Mouse," by Robert Burns. The poem tells a story about a "Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast," the mouse. The mouse builds a nest in a field where a plow upends his refuge. A life-altering disruption, for sure. But, the Mouse is not alone. Burns writes,

But little Mouse, you are not alone,

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best laid schemes of mice and men

Go often awry,

And leave us nothing but grief and pain,

For promised joy!

 

Our lives have been altered. Our worshipping, Christ-centered community, has been tossed about by a metaphorical plow. We have been tossed into crisis mode, as cowering and timorous as mice.

During most crises, people turn to faith. To their church, synagogue, mosque, or temple. To the people they know care about humanity and life. To familiar scriptures and prayers. To the altars and pews that feel like home.

 

Except now, as we experience what it is like to live in a pandemic. Because all of our best laid schemes—even in church—have been tossed about. Now the tables and chairs of our homes have become our altars and pews. Now, the people who care about humanity and life are only accessible through a screen or a phone. The world is awry, even for a crisis.

 

This is not like a flood or earthquake or any other natural disaster. We do not have homes to clean out or rebuild. Instead our daily schedules are changed by laid-off and furloughed jobs, self-isolation, doctor's quarantine, social-distancing—even when we are not sick—we see barren streets and apocalyptic grocery store scenes.

 

While we struggle to figure out this new, temporary way of life, we also grieve.

We miss gathering for communion or sharing the peace. We miss coming together to quilt, to crochet and knit, to study the bible, to learn, to sing, or for a simple cup of coffee. And that is okay. Missing those things is grief. That means you value those practices and people so much that it pains you not to have them. Grief is natural. And, even if you are alone in your home, your room, or your office, you are not alone in grief.

 

And you are not alone in promised joy.

 

Which is why we are still gathering—virtually, in spirit and not body—to worship online. There is promised joy. Right now, we are in one long season of Lent. We are soon entering Holy Week and the story of the Passion of Christ. Though our original plans have changed, the gospel has not! We will walk with each other through this story and through this new life experience. On Easter Sunday, we will end up at the empty tomb with the Easter message, Christ is risen!

 

In peace and hope,

 

Pastor Katie

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