High River United Church of High River, Alberta

Pandemics Do End

Is the end really in sight? Government announcements this week seem to be indicating that we are coming to an end, well sort of. It continues to be a moving finish line – with percentage of people vaccinated playing a part (please get your vaccine, if you are eligible and haven’t done so.)


It will be a bit of a fluid end. We’re reading that masks will still likely be part of our lives for several months, and that COVID-19 flare-ups will likely be an ongoing reality, just like influenza. There is no one day we can mark on our calendar, like Christmas or our birthday or the start of summer holidays, and count down the days toward that event.


It feels as if we are the children in the car on a road trip repeatedly asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Only this time the adults in this pandemic vehicle don’t know exactly how many more kilometres are ahead. They make good promises to the best of their knowledge and offer encouragement, but with a pandemic there is no easy answer. This fluid end to a pandemic is as exhausting as the past 15 months of living through it.


But the good news is that pandemics do end! We were listening to an epidemiologist who has studied pandemics throughout history and his declaration is that pandemics always end. They end when the virus has nowhere else to go. Sadly in the past, that often meant that so many people had died that the virus basically killed itself off. However, today, we have the gift of vaccines and scientific study to provide us with better ways to end pandemics. We no longer have to walk around with bundles of herbs in our pockets, hoping they will ward off disease.


As I ponder endings, I draw to mind Revelation 21:6 which declares that God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I think of Natalie Sleeth’s hymn, “In the Bulb There Is a Flower”, with the beautiful words, “In our end is a beginning; in our time, infinity.”


Our endings and beginnings are all held in God’s love. God understand which of our endings might just be beginnings and which of our beginnings might unfold into endings and what beginnings might emerge from those endings. It is all rather mysterious, and somehow in that mystery I find comfort, because I know that all of it, all of my beginnings and endings are held in Divine Love.


While such ponderings may not satisfy the kids in the car asking, “Are we there yet?”, they do bring me comfort and help me keep taking the steps necessary until we are truly at the end of this pandemic. Thanks be to God!


Rev. Susan

High River United Church

a community of help, home and hope, serving in Christ's name



End in Sight




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