I think we can all agree that turning the page on 2020 is a welcome event. This has certainly been the hardest year of my life, and I expect most of you can say the same. I have always been suspicious of preachers who promise nothing but smooth sailing and prosperity for those who follow Christ, especially when Jesus told his disciples to take up their crosses and follow him and that Christians would be persecuted by the world for their faithfulness. Throughout history, God’s people have suffered from famines, plagues, wars, exiles, and various hardships. Indeed, we call extremely calamitous times “of biblical proportions.” No; God did not promise us a rose garden. But God did promise to walk with us and to give us what we need to survive.
My heart goes out to the 338,000 plus families who have had to bury their loved ones who passed away from Covid-19 this year. Not since the great pandemic of 1918 has our nation lost so many people in a single year. My heart also goes out to the medical workers who have experienced so much pain and suffering treating the sick and to the essential workers who labor daily to keep us safe and healthy. May God bless all of these heroes.
The silver lining in all of this is that safe and effective vaccines have been produced, approved, and are already being administered. In a few months this wonderful gift will slow the spread of this deadly virus, and in a few more send it away. Thanks be to God! Another piece of good news is that by the grace and mercy of God most of us have been able to persevere and survive during this difficult time. We haven’t done it alone; we have done it with God at our side, just as God promised and has done many times in the past.
I am grateful for all the public health officials and scientists for their due diligence; I am grateful for the teachers and professors who have worked hard to teach online and in classrooms under duress; I am grateful to Congress for its aid to people in need and to all who have given food and money to food banks and people in need. I am grateful for all of you who have so generously supported our congregation with your prayers and money to keep our ministry and mission going. I am especially grateful to Virginia, Mike Lhotsky, and Laura Piazza for filming our online worship services and to Nancy and Frank and the dozens of lay readers who have provided music and liturgy every week. I am grateful to our PK leaders and youth advocates for reaching out to our children youth and to our elders and deacons for carrying on their work.
Yes, these have been, and continue to be, challenging times. But the God who has brought us this far through life continues to sustain us. And that is cause for rejoicing and giving thanks. When you go to bed tonight, say a prayer for our congregation and for all of our members, visitors, and friends. We are truly blessed to have each other. Thanks be to God and Happy New Year!
Trinity's in-person activities are suspended through February 28, 2021. Session will meet monthly via ZOOM to determine if the suspension of activities should continue, based on health guidelines.
Please note the church office is closed the week of December 28th. The office will reopen on Monday, January 4th at Noon. For your donations to be included in your 2020 giving statement, items must be received or postmarked by December 31, 2020. Thank you!